Second Science with Africa Conference Focuses on Innovation for Development

28 June 2010: The Second Science with Africa Conference has ended with the adoption of recommendations on how African countries can leverage science and technology to carry forward their development agenda.

The Conference, which was organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Union Commission (AUC), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and other partners under the theme “Science, Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” convened from 23-25 June 2010, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The aim of the Conference was to explore policies, measures and mechanisms for promoting innovation and entrepreneurship to meet development challenges in Africa.

One of the outcomes from the Conference was the request to the Network of African Science Academies to prepare a report on Science and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Africa by mid-July 2010. The report is intended to assist African leaders in preparing their positions during the upcoming 16th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 16) to be held in Mexico at the end of 2010. Participants also stressed the need to: promote the development of a critical mass of science journalists in Africa, to help raise the understanding of the nexus between science and development in the public; and invest in educating women and youth in science and technology.

Furthermore, the Conference launched the African Science, Technology and Innovation Endowment Fund (ASTIF), which is aimed at supporting individuals, as well as research and development centers, in bringing their research outputs to the market, thereby bridging the gap between researchers and the private sector. It also launched the first-ever African Technology Development and Transfer Network, which is aimed at generating economic and social value from research and development outputs, by facilitating technology adaptation and the commercialization of outputs. [UNECA Press Release] [Conference Website]