Prof Aderemi Kuku, a Distinguished Nigerian Professor of Mathematics and Computational Science of the Botswana International University of Science and Technology and President of the Nairobi-based African Academy of Sciences will join Africa’s best brains in the academia, high-ranking government officials, industry and the UN to present Africa’s emerging technological aspirations at a symposium in the US on Wednesday.
The symposium set to hold at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)— a leading science and technology university based in the US will grant leading Scholars, Scientists, MIT faculty, business people and students in the US the opportunity to interact with Africa’s think tanks.
According to Prof CalestousJuma, a Kenyan and Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor at the MIT, this will be the first time in the history of the Institute to interact with Africa’s leading think tanks.
Among Africa’s scholars and think tanks expected at the Symposium include Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, the Secretary- General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development and former minister of Trade in Kenya, and Dr Aggrey Ambali, the head of Science, Technology and Innovation at the NEPAD in South Africa.
Others include Dr Beatrice Khamati-Njenga who heads the Education Division at the African Union Commission and Mr. Hambani Mashelani, Senior Policy Officer at the African Union Commission.
Convened by MIT in partnership with the African Union’s NEPAD Agency, the symposium will go a long way in meeting African countries’ quest to seek a variety of partnerships with leading science and technology universities around the world in a bid to realize the 10-year Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024) by the African Union.
The Strategy, adopted in June 2014 by the African heads of state and governments is part of the long-term Agenda 2063 which outlines the need to “merge African initiatives and strategies on accelerated human capital development, science and technology and innovation.”
More specifically, the Strategy calls on Africa to “lead the new industrial revolution by building a skilled workforce, capitalizing on the digital revolution and global knowledge. This will trigger rapid diversification of sources of growth, sustain current economic performance and lift large sections out of poverty and create a powerful middle class.” In pursuit of the vision, the African Union has spearheaded the setting up of universities as centers of excellence.
The aim of the symposium at MIT will thus be to explore areas of cooperation between MIT and Africans countries in areas of science, technology and innovation. The event will allow MIT to learn more about emerging trends in Africa and for Africa to familiarize itself with activities and MIT.
This will be achieved through interactive sessions between the African think Tanks with senior leadership of MIT, faculty and students in a bid help raise awareness on the potential areas for cooperation, especially in areas of science, technology and innovation.
The event is organized by the Center for International Studies and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning In cooperation with the MIT-Africa Interest Group (MAIG), MIT UrbanAfrica, and the MIT Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Visiting Professors and Scholars Program.