Originally published on UNECA
Dakar, Senegal, November 27, 2017 (ECA) – A three-day Senior Experts Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) and the African Transformation Agenda opens Tuesday in Dakar with 50 participants drawn from governments, the private sector, financial institutions, non-governmental organisations, and research institutions from within and outside Senegal.
The dialogue is being organized by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Ministry of Scientific Research of the Republic of Senegal, in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) on the theme “Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation and the African integration and development agenda.”
The SED runs from 28-30 November.
Kasirim Nwuke, Chief of the New Technologies and Innovation Section in the ECA’s Special Initiatives Division, says the dialogue will explore the nexus of higher education and STI and the implications of this relationship for Africa’s integration and development agendas.
“The transition of economies into knowledge economies has amplified interest in Africa in higher education as an engine of economic growth, as the producer of the scientific and technological advancements needed to sustain innovation and power economic growth,” said Mr. Nwuke, adding the dialogue responds to that interest.
Participants will examine the impact of ICT on higher education and scientific research, and on technological innovation and the possible impact of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), still under negotiation, on the structure of the higher education market in member States and on competition through innovation.
“Each of these processes has implications for the supply and demand of higher education and STI and hence for the growth and development and integration of Africa,” adds Mr. Nwuke.
Both the UN Agenda 2030 for sustainable development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, recognize that success will depend on a strengthened higher education and research sector and on the ability of countries to harness science, technology and innovation to accelerate the transformation of the continent.
The experts will also look at how best African countries can come up with policies that can help organize higher education to create and transfer knowledge and promote innovation and economic growth with transformation to advance regional integration and development on the continent.
Recommendations from the SED will assist member States to design higher education, and science, technology and innovation policies to support the transformation of their economies pursuant to Africa’s integration and development agenda.
The SED is an initiative of ECA designed to support member States in their efforts to leverage science, technology and innovation (STI) to drive the structural transformation of their economies.
Participants include representatives from African Ministries responsible for Science, Technology, Innovation and Higher Education.