Dr. Martial De-Paul Ikounga African Union Commissioner for Human Resources Science and Technology presented the African strategy on Science, Technology and innovation, at the Africa Innovation Summit (AIS), held in Cape Verde Island, on the 4th of February 2014. The main objectives of the Summit were to explore and exchange ideas on how to best promote innovation in Africa; harness emerging innovation centres on the continent, link entrepreneurs with potential investors.
Commissioner De-Paul Ikounga indicated that the African strategy on Science, Technology and Innovation falls within the AU vision of a united, prosperous and dynamic Africa within the global arena, underlining that science and technology are key tools to boost the African economic mechanism, if associated to human resources development.
AUC Commissioner underscored the need to innovate school, the education system, the importance to build self-confidence for creation and creativity in all the fields which represents the courageous madness of the inventor or creator.
The African strategy on Science, Technology and Innovation has outlined 6 priorities areas where STI can contribute to addressing African development challenges: hunger eradication; disease prevention and control; communication (intellectual and physical including energy), space protection (including climate change and environment); living together in the city (Africa will have 100 millionaire cities); wealth (creating wealth, extracting and transforming resources, and training human resources).
It aims at increasing the level of Africa’s scientific and technical capacity as well as the human skills through training. It also aims at encouraging collaborative innovation and entrepreneurship, dissemination of the scientific culture with the view of building intellectual production.
The Strategy comprises 5 phases of 10 years each aimed at developing science and technology as a tool to accelerate transition of Africa towards a knowledge and innovation-based economy.
The African Union has set a specific governance structure within which: the African council for Research and Innovation (ARIC) and the African Observatory on Science and Technology (AOSTI) will play key role in development of programs and the monitoring and evaluation of progress through the use of indicators.