Press release: NEPAD sets out to push for science, technology and innovation to improve the development of the continent…

Addis Ababa, 21/5/2011 – The New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) will, between the 23rd and 25th of May 2011, launch the second phase of the  African Science Technology and Innovation Indicators (ASTII) Initiative and the African Innovation Outlook Series . The launch is set to take place at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  

According, to Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency), “investment in science, technology and innovation is increasingly being seen by African countries as an essential element in responding to the continent’s socio-economic development needs and challenges”. 

The general objective of NEPAD's work on ASTII is to build Africa's capacity to collect, analyze and use STI Indicators ASTII is a programme within the African Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA), which was adopted in 2005 by the African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology (AMCOST) as a framework for responding to the socio-economic challenges facing the continent through the use of science, technology and innovation.

The first phase of the ASTII programme which was coordinated by the NEPAD Agency in close collaboration with the Directorate of Human Resources, Science and Technology at the African Union Commission (AUC-HRST), ran from 2007 to 2010 and was designed as a learning phase, presenting nineteen African Union member States with the means and the opportunity to engage in mutual learning and sharing in order to improve the measurement of science, technology and innovation.

 

The participating countries in phase 1 were: Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Participating countries conducted Research and Development (R&D) and Innovation surveys - the outcomes of which are captured in the African Innovation Outlook 2010.

“It is in this regard that the African Innovation Outlook 2010 will  be unveiled as the first in a series of reports that are intended to inform the people of Africa and other interested parties about the status of science, technology and innovation activities in African countries”, revealed Dr. Mayaki. Above all, the success of ASTII should hinge on African ownership and strong African commitment to the process.

The Outlook and the second phase of the ASTII initiative will be jointly launched by the AU Commissioner for HRST and the CEO of the NEPAD Agency during the engagements in Addis Ababa. The meeting will among other things reflect on notable achievements of ASTII to date.

This second phase of ASTII will commence this year and it will be open to wider participation from some of the other African Union member states.

 

Financial and technical resources for ASTII came from the participating countries and also through a grant from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

 

Ends

Members of the media are hereby invited to attend the official opening ceremony on the 23rd of May 2011. Time: 9:00 am to 10:30am at UNECA Conference Room 2.

Speakers will include Ministers, high-level representatives from the AUC, the NEPAD Agency, UNESCO, ASTII Phase 1 Countries and research institutions.  

For more information, on the ASTII Programme, contact:

Mrs. Estherine Lisinge FOTABONG: +27 11 256 3627 

Media Contact Person: Mr. Gilles Eric FOADEY: +27 83 555 9696 

About the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency

The NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) as the technical body of the African Union www.africa-union.org, works closely with the African Union Commission (AUC), regional economic communities, national governments, civil society and the private sector to push for programmes and projects that focus on improving the lives of the African people. The NEPAD Agency is the leading African development expert, able to mobilise the private sector, heads of state and African people as a force for positive change, building continental prosperity and regional integration. For more information, go to: www.nepad.org