Following the African Inter-Parliamentary Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (AIPF-STI) initiative launched in May 2011 by UNECA; African Parliamentarians in Charge of Science, Technology and Innovation will be meeting from 16 to 18 October 2012 in Cairo, Egypt, to exchange views on strengthening the already growing momentum of empowering and building the capacity of the legislators through a common African dialogue in view to mainstream science, technology and innovation in Africa’s development efforts.
Organised by the Department of Human Resources Science and Technology (HRST) of the African Union Commission (AIUC) the workshop will be hosted by the Arab Republic of Egypt Minister in Charge of Higher Education and Scientific Research, who is also the current chair of the African Ministerial Conference on Science and Technology (AMCOST).
The AU Commission aims through this parliamentarian workshop to enhance the role of the legislators, in their capacity as trustees of public mandate, representing the African people and their grass-roots organizations, to advance science, technology and innovation in Africa. The workshop will be held back to back with an African STI Resources Mobilization Workshop and participants will be drawn from the AU Member States and Representatives of the Standing Committees on STI in Parliaments.
“The unique multi-sectoral approach of this Parliamentary workshop will enable the legislators to share information and best practices (African parliaments and assemblies) to promote public knowledge and understanding of the work and role of Parliament on Africa’s STI development and how their influential position can fully be exploited to benefit this sector..” says Dr. Mahama Ouedraogo Head of Division, Science & Technology Division, Human Resources, Science & Technology Department.
Key outcomes expected in this meeting include strengthening the African platform for engaging policy-makers, parliament legislators, scientists, private sector, the media, and representatives of the civil society in an active dialogue to advance science and technology and innovation in Africa. Strong advocacy on STI funding and investment established with a view to move Africa towards the 1% of GDP allocation to R&D and to promote innovative and alternative mechanisms for financing STI in the continent; Advocacy for the creation of institutional (infrastructures and facilities for R&D) and policy arrangements that promote scientific collaboration, research networks among African countries and its regional economic communities; Call for sustainable human capital development and strategies for combating of brain drain in order to grow a critical mass of STI experts in the continent.
Key partners in the implementation of the workshop include UNECA, ISESCO, UNESCO, AfDB and the host country who is AMCOST IV Chair. Regional institutions PAP, NEPAD, the RECS and key multi-lateral institutions will also be invited.
The Science & Technology Division under the Department of Human Resource Science & Technology (HRST) is the division responsible for Africa’s Technology paradigm of development including the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards at the African Union Commission (AUC). For more information visit the website: http://au.int/en/dp/hrst/node
Source: African Union Commission – Press Release – 14 October 2012