African ministers have welcomed the offer of Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) to help build innovation management capacity at national and regional levels.
“This collaboration will go a long way in helping high-level African officials strengthen their capacity in research, technology and innovation management,” said Dr. Martial De Paul Ikounga, African Union’s Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology (HRST).
The offer was made by HKS’s Professor Calestous Juma during his keynote speech at the first meeting of the African Union’s Specialized Technical Committee on Education, Science and Technology (STC-EST) help in Addis Ababa on 27-30 November, 2015. The ministers requested the HRST Commission to work with HKS to develop modalities for the implementation of the cooperation which can form the basis for similar capacity building initiatives with relevant STI institutions.
HKS has launched the Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship in Africa (TIE-Africa) Executive Program with a $1 million gift from the Schooner Foundation to HKS’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
“This support was inspired by the collaboration we have had with the Commission during the formulation and adoption of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024),” Professor Juma informed the ministers.
The first three-day session of TIE-Africa will be held at HKS in September 2016. “The program will bring together senior leaders from across Africa to address critical challenges facing their economies and support them in their implementation of innovation strategies,” Professor Juma said. He said that the “focus will be on finding solutions to critical issues identified by member states.” “We look forward to working closely with the HRST Commission in identifying participants across Africa whose initiatives could have a major impact of development objectives,” Professor Juma added.
“We consider the collaboration with Harvard Kennedy School as an important step in working with some of the world’s leading universities to build our management capabilities. We look forward to expanding our collaboration of like-minded universities around the world,” he said