The Third Africa Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation.
Calendar: 10-12 February 2018
Venue: Cairo - Egypt
The Forum was organized by the African Development Bank in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The Forum is also supported by the Republic of Korea and Japan, as well as a number of other partners.
Areas on which the Forum has focused:
The third Africa Forum highlights the importance of scientific research in promoting innovation and improving the delivery of goods and services, pointing out the role of the private sector in five areas: climate change, nutrition, water, information and communication technology, and pharmaceuticals products. These five areas have been chosen because they offer real opportunities for economic transformation in Africa.
The three-day forum was held around:
* The use of scientific research tools, technology and innovation to optimize the use of natural resources in Africa, which impacts the continent's economy.
* Policies, funding and human resources for science, technology and innovation.
* Youth and innovation in entrepreneurship.
* Food security in Africa and nutrition.
* Skills and innovations in the pharmaceutical industries.
This session was held in the presence of: Prof. Wahid Doss, Chairman of the Supreme Committee for control of Viral Hepatitis at the Egyptian Ministry of Health, Mr. Emmanuel Mujuru, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Federation of African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, Mr. Soloman Nowacka, Executive Director, African Network for Drug Innovation and Diagnostics, and Ms. Safiatou Cimpor, Executive Director of YOLSE, Public Health and Innovation, Switzerland, and Dr. Sherine Helmi, CEO of Pharco pharmaceutical, Egypt.
The session focused on the success of Egypt in treating viral hepatitis in a short period of time, as well as providing drugs at a very good price; and also focused on the fact that the Egyptian pharmaceutical factories have begun to manufacture the drugs treating viral hepatitis. The panelists attending the session paid tribute to the Egyptian experience while pointing out the need to provide drugs in general at an appropriate price and the effectiveness of drugs with the lowest proportion of side effects.
The session also emphasized the need to encourage the financing of pharmaceutical industries in Africa and the involvement of young people in the field of health and innovation; also to integrate similar health initiatives to avoid repetition and to develop African policies in health and local drug production areas.
* An exhibition on science and technology was opened alongside the third Africa Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation. It should also be noted that the exhibition included a presentation of some products from a number of companies and institutions working in the field of education, technology and innovation in the African continent, as well as international institutions such as UNESCO, Egyptian scientific publishing houses, universities, and the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, as well as products of the Egyptian Bank of Knowledge, launched by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in 2014 in order to provide scientific, educational and research content.
Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, has held several sessions with a number of African Ministers of Higher Education alongside the third Africa Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation, to discuss the strengthening of cooperation between Egypt and African countries (Mauritania - Sudan - Liberia – Zambia…) in the fields of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technology.
Objectives of the Forum:
- Achieving economic growth and increasing competitiveness of the African private sector through applications of science, technology and innovation.
- Encouraging the countries of the continent to invest more in higher education and scientific research, in order to build a knowledge economy and avoid losing the opportunity to catch up with the fourth industrial revolution.
- Opening a political dialogue between policy makers, in science, technology and innovation, and financial partners and other stakeholders to facilitate the implementation of new projects.
- Presenting successful models in Africa and benefiting from the experiences of industrialized countries such as Japan and South Korea in order to exchange their experiences.
- Presenting a report to measure the performance of science, technology and innovation in Africa, as well as to evaluate policies, institutions, human resources, scientific and innovation capacities, financing, research production and progress.
- Giving African political leaders and decision-makers, present and future ones, the opportunity to chart a common road map to strengthen the role of science, technology and innovation in the African continent.
- Promote corporate leadership in areas based on scientific research, technology and innovation.
The forum included most of the 54 African countries. The participants included political leaders from Ministries of Finance, Science and Technology, Higher Education and Scientific Research, Industry, Health, Agriculture, Energy, Water and Environment. (Senegal, Rwanda, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Zambia and Sudan).
The Forum was opened under the patronage of President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, in the presence of the engineer Sherif Ismail, the Prime Minister and a number of ministers and statesmen, among them: Dr. Khalid Abdul Ghaffar, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Tarek Shawki, Minister of Education and Technical Education, and Dr. Hani Al-Shimi, Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research for African Affairs and the General Coordinator of the Forum, as well as Mr. Issam Khamis, Vice Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the Scientific Research area and Dr. Saiid Darwish , advisor to the Minister to link industry to scientific research.
On behalf of the African Development Bank, Mr. / Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, was present and also participated in the Forum a large number of African Ministers of Higher Education, Science, Technology, Innovation and Scientific Research, as well as representatives of the public and private sectors, scientists, researchers, innovators, young people and Egyptian development partners.
The presence of the African Union was evident in a Constellation of the AU Commission, led by Professor Sarah Agbor, Commissioner for Human Resources, Youth, Science and Technology, who participated significantly in most of the Forum sessions.
Many regional and international institutions participated in the Forum for their role in promoting a continental vision, including: The African Liver Patients Association (ALPA) and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), as well as UNESCO, the Islamic Development Bank, and the African Academy of Sciences.
Recommendations of the Forum:
The closing session of the Forum was concluded with a number of recommendations:
• Supporting scientific research and innovation in national and regional policies, through the adoption of policies that promote gender equality in public and higher education in areas of science, technology, engineering and technology, and mathematics. In addition, launching a dialogue, at national, regional and continental level, including actors of innovation and civil society; to discuss the relationship between innovation and scientific research and society in general, and how to improve them, as well as revising the innovation priority map and scientific research, in particular applied scientific research in order to overcome all obstacles faced by entrepreneurs and innovators, and focus on the importance of intellectual property rights, and the exchange of information.
• Paying attention to talents, infrastructure and promising sectors, through empowering young people in the field of innovation, and giving them the confidence to create a better future. In addition, supporting emerging small and medium-sized companies in the field of innovation and encouraging the participation of the private sector in the development of these companies , as well as capacity building in the fields of electronics, computers and social sciences, as these are related to social media, big data, mobile technology, virtual space security, investment in agriculture and water systems, and supporting research for global health security, especially neglected tropical diseases, and infectious and non-communicable diseases.
• Achieving sustainable financing by increasing investments in higher education, restructuring financial and research institutions, stimulating innovation activities in the private sector to support sustainable development goals, and strengthening all activities supporting inclusive and applicable innovation in a wide range. It is also important to develop strategies to mobilize local resources in line with the recommendations of Addis Ababa Action Plan; and to allocate an agreed share of national budgets to promote innovation and research and to create funding alliances with governmental and non-governmental agencies; and allocate a percentage of all development loans and grants to support innovation and research capacity building.
• Providing analogy, monitoring and evaluation through investment in measurement systems, in the development of monitoring and in evaluation capacities, and through the presence of a monitoring system of the AU for science, technology and innovation, to pursue development in the African continent, and the use of extension methods to estimate innovation; and promote African progress in the field, as well as supporting the establishment of the African Institute of Future Studies, and Knowledge Dissemination Institutions supporting understanding of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, New Energy and Climate Change.
• Achieving cooperation and regional integration through knowledge exchange, transfer of students and researchers, joint research and development activities, and the creation of regional centers of excellence and innovation to streamline expenses and raw materials.