Africa Regional Science, Technology and Innovation Forum 2022

March 1
– March 2
Rwanda
ECA
“Strengthening STI Institutional Arrangements to Advance Full Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Africa”
1 March, 2022 to 2 March, 2022

Introduction

The fourth Africa Regional STI Forum will be held on 1 March to 2 March 2022, in a hybrid format in Kigali, Rwanda. The Forum is co-organized with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), African Union Commission (AUC), the Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa. Other key partners include the United Nations Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries (UNTBLDCs), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), African Materials Research Society (AMRS) and the African Biomedical Engineering Consortium (ABEC). The Forum is designed to meet both the global and continental mandates.

To meet its mandate to provide inputs into the ARFSD-8, the STI Forum will look at how STI could help the continent meet and contribute to the realization of the theme of the ARFSD: “Building back better from the coronavirus (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and in-depth review of Sustainable Development Goals 4 (Education), 5 (Gender Equality), 14 (Life below Water), 15 (Life on Land)and 17 (Partnership) and the corresponding goals of Agenda 2063.

The Theme of the STI Forum

As noted earlier, the Theme of the ARFSD-8 is “Building back better from the coronavirus (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” with a focus on Goals 4, 5, 13, 14 and 17. To enable STI contribute effectively, efforts to strengthen STI institutional arrangements are needed. Such institutional arrangements may include those involved in STI governance, policy formulation and implementation, technology development and deployment, funding research and development, promoting or facilitating partnership between all the key players in STI, among others.

The fourth STI Forum will focus on “Strengthening STI Institutional Arrangements to Advance Full Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Africa”. To achieve this goal, the Forum will see the launch of a number of initiatives aimed at helping member States strengthen their institutional arrangements as well as meeting the goals of “facilitating interaction, matchmaking and the establishment of networks”. In this regard, the fourth Africa Regional STI Forum will provide opportunities for matchmaking, networking and partnerships to advance sustainable development.

Objective of the African Science, Technology and Innovation Forum

The overall objective of the fourth African Science, Technology and Innovation Forum is to conduct a regional follow-up and review of progress made, in order to identify potential mechanisms and measures that countries can deploy to scale up actions, facilitate peer learning and advance transformative solutions to accelerate implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the goals of Agenda 2063. These include:
(a)   Conduct a regional follow-up to, and review of, the implementation of the key messages and measures recommended at the previous Forum;
(b)   Provide a platform for peer learning and sharing experiences, approaches, good practices and lessons learned, in order to accelerate the realization of the aspiration of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 of the African Union;
(c)   Identify the technological opportunities, gaps and challenges as well as the institutional voids that can help drive innovation and development.
(d)   Identify actionable mechanisms for collaboration and matchmaking, to strengthen regional and international partnerships and investments in science, technology and innovation, to accelerate implementation of the two agendas within the decade 2020–2030.

Expected outcomes

The fourth African Science, Technology and Innovation Forum is consciously designed to foster collaborations, diffusion of technology and innovation, and scale-up policy and operational efforts needed to accelerate the contribution of STI to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Specifically, the following will be the key tangible and intangible outcomes:
(a) A report of key outcomes that could guide Member States, the private sector and non-State actors to improve their STI policies and amplify the impact of STI on measures to accelerate the achievement of the two agendas.
(b) Strategies to strengthen STI institutional arrangements that can drive policy implementation, improve funding mechanisms for R&D, innovation and entrepreneurship will be identified and documented to help Member States build sound scientific, technological and innovation foundation.
(c) Regional networks and platform for exchanging information on funding, innovations and institutions launched to accelerate technology transfer, collaboration and co-creation among key STI partners in Africa.

Participants

The meeting will be attended by representatives of:
All African Member States of the United Nations, the African Union Commission, African Development Bank, regional economic communities, civil society, business and industry organizations, academia and research institutions, agencies and organizations of the United Nations system, and other international agencies and organizations, as well as all development partners.

Working languages

The meeting will be conducted in English and French, with simultaneous interpretation in both languages.

Contacts

For inquiries, please contact:
  1. Asfaw Yitna, Research Assistant, ECA. Email: yitna@un.org
  2. Martiale Zebaze Kana, Head Science Unit, UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa.Email: m.zebaze-kana@unesco.org
  3. Dr. Samuel Chigome, President – Africa Materials Research Society (AMRS), email: SChigome@bitri.co.bw
  4. Mmampei Chaba, Chief Director: Multilateral Cooperation and Africa, Department of Science and Technology of South Africa. Email: Mmampei.Chaba@dst.gov.za
  5. Ao Kong, Senior Program Advisor, United Nations Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries. Email: konga@un.org

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