The Conference Kicks off with a Call for New Paradigms and Pathways for Economic Growth

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Posted on 25th November, 2012by Prof. ATPS Admin

The ATPS 2012 International conference kicked off on high note with key speakers calling new paradigms and pathways for economic growth that is inclusive of social and environmental sustainability.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, Professor Kevin Urama, the Executive Director of the ATPS noted that the quadruple challenges of imploding economies, deepening and widening poverty, climate change, and disappearing environmental assets around the world necessitate a careful re-thinking of knowledge platforms and development pathways at global, continental and national scales.

He noted that in the wake of the recent global financial crisis and deepening social and environmental crisis in the past decade, science experts and policymakers alike are increasingly uniting in the search for alternative development paradigms.

“Technological innovations will be central to the creation of a new and more sustainable development paradigm,” said Prof. Urama.

“It is expected that as the world “gets smarter”, transitions away from hydro-carbonated industries and natural resource intensive economies will be imperative. Continued reliance on cheap exports of primary resources will not only be environmentally unsustainable and economically inefficient, but also socially unacceptable,” he added.

His sentiments were echoed by Prof. Shaukat Abdulrazak, the chair of the ATPS Board, and Chief Executive Officer/Secretary of the Kenya’s National Council for Science and Technology.

Prof. Abdulrazak emphasised the need for Africa to build home-grown technologies and innovations for sustainable development on the continent.

“The continent generally lags behind her peers in skills and competencies required to fully reap the benefits afforded by STI for its development,” said Prof. Abdurazak.

While giving a key note address titled The Fragility of the Recent Africa’s Growth and the Opportunity for Creating Jobs through a New Technology and Industrial Policy, Prof. Osita Ogbu, the director of the Institute for Development Studies based at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka  noted that Africa should not celebrate yet about its recent growth and continued prospects.

He pointed out that Africa’s growth if not driven by a diversified production structure essentially in manufacturing that would deliver quality jobs and raise incomes, would remain trepid, fragile and susceptible to negative shocks.

“Unfortunately, Africa’s initial attempts were not very successful. Rather than re-strategize, Africa and those advising Africa abandoned this strategy completely in spite of its being responsible for the basic industrial structure that currently exist,” he said.

The conference was opened by Dr. Mahama Ouedraogo, Head of Science and Technology Division, African Union Commission (AUC) on behalf of His Excellency, Professor Jean-Pierre Ezin, the Commissioner for Human Resources Services and Technology at the AUC.

The Commissioner emphasized the role of STI in Africa’s development struggle, noting that STI is the key for development in Africa. He re-affirmed the commitment of the AUC to support STI capacity strengthening for Africa development.

The ATPS 2012 annual conference is held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the theme Emerging paradigms, technologies and innovations for sustainable development: global imperatives and African realities which have brought together researchers, academia, policy makers and innovators.

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