Thursday, 3 July 2014

African Union Heads of State and Government Adopt the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 3 July, 2014: The 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of African Union Heads of State and Government held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on 27 June 2014 adopted the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa -2024 (STISA-2024) amongst others.

STISA-2024 was developed as a result of the review of the Africa Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA), following an inclusive participatory process involving policy-makers, prominent scientists, and researchers at home and in Diaspora; institutions and organizations including the AU Commission and the NEPAD Agency. The 8-member high-level panel which presided over the development of STISA-2024 was co-chaired by Professors Calestous Juma and Ismail Serageldin.

STISA-2024 will address six critical socio-economic priority areas, namely: eradication of hunger and ensure food & nutrition security; disease prevention and control and ensuring well-being; communication; protection of our space; live together – build the community and; wealth creation. These priorities cut across the African Union sectorial strategic frameworks and provide ample opportunity for synergies and complementarities that would be capitalized on during implementation, underscoring the role of STI as a multi-functional tool for Africa’s development.

The STISA-2024 is a decadal continental strategic framework for accelerating Africa’s transition to an innovation-led, knowledge-based economy within the overall framework of the AU Agenda 2063. It takes into cognizance the need to revamp STI infrastructure in Africa, enhance technical and professional competencies, and also provide the enabling environment for STI as prerequisites to achieve its mission. Flagship research programs and actions with estimated budget and funding sources will be elaborated to respond to the challenges along the key priorities’ impact areas by the scientific community and all relevant stakeholders.  Both prerequisite actions and flagship programs will take stock of existing initiatives and will build on existing program actions already identified in the Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA).

In their decision, the Heads of State and Government called upon the Member States, Regional Economic Communities and Development Partners to align, connect and use the STISA-2024 as a reference framework in designing and coordinating their STI development agendas and initiatives, to collectively contribute to Africa’s socio-economic development. This calls for a political will and financial commitment from Member States that goes beyond the Khartoum declaration of 1% GDP spending on research and development.

The AU Commission, the NEPAD Agency and their partners will continue to advocate and create awareness, mobilize necessary institutional, human and financial resources and also track, monitor and evaluate the implementation progress of STISA -2024.