Posted by: africanpressorganization | 3 October 2011

Africa – E.U High Level science, technology and innovation Policy dialogue platform



Africa – E.U High Level science, technology and innovation Policy dialogue platform


ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 3, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Invitation to representatives of the media


When: 10-11 October 2011


Where: African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Who: Organized by the Department of Human Resource Science and Technology (HRST) of African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the European Union (EU).



Why: The High-Level Policy Dialogue on science, technology and innovation requires the development of a shared vision aimed to enhance the cooperation between Europe and Africa in STI. Complementing the work of the science component of the EU-Africa Partnership n°8, the high level policy dialogue aims to build sustainable partnerships between African and European scientific institutions and enhance Africa-EU STI political leaderships in order to pursue scientific research and applications for the benefit of African and European citizens.



Objectives: The High-Level Policy Dialogue will contribute to:

•    Promoting the relevance of the STI agenda and enhancing the effective application of research results to Africa and Europe’s sustainable socio-economic development and competitiveness;

•    Ensuring the ownership of the STI agenda by African and EU institutions;

•    Strengthening governance, capacity building and support to research and development;

•    Building and strengthening effective stakeholders platforms at all levels;

•    Maximizing the use of the available knowledge and promote innovation systems;

•     Mobilizing sustainable long-term financing for STI;

•    Strengthening national, regional and continental institutions and centres responsible for science and technology development with a view to enhancing their research and development capabilities.



Expected Outcome: Strategically oriented and forward looking, the dialogue will serve as a platform for regular exchanges on STI-related policy issues and aims to formulate long-term priorities to strengthen Africa-Europe STI cooperation.


The scope of the dialogue will cover a range of issues, including:


a) Facilitating the exchange of information and good practice:

Harnessing the principles of best practice from Africa & Europe to serve local communities, there is a need to share experience, good practice, data and resources.

b) Promoting the development of human capital:

‘Human capital’ refers to the development of skills and knowledge needed to drive production and innovation. Evidence indicates that raising the level of education is the most effective way to accumulate human capital in the poorest countries, hence improving their standard of living.

c) Delivering research infrastructures to tackle societal challenges:

Research infrastructures also play a critical role in human capital development and stimulate innovation and socio-economic development.

d) Improving governance of science and innovation systems:

There is a need to strengthen the management of public research organisations, and enhance their capacity to deliver high quality scientific research.

e) Strengthening scientific support to policy making:

The need for robust scientific evidence in policy and decision making and for innovative mechanisms to sustain interaction between science producers and policy/decision makers is well recognized.

f) Promoting the use of research results:

Better dissemination of results will improve the usefulness and long-term impact of the research being carried out. Exploitation of synergies amongst our institutions and the private sector would promote entrepreneurship.

g) Setting objectives and priorities for future cooperation:

Learn from failures as well as past successes to guide policy implementation and avoid past pitfalls so that good policies and strategies result in action that contributes to innovation.



Participants: Participants will include senior officials from the ministries in charge of Science and Technology from all African Union and European Union States.



Structure of the Dialogue:

The dialogue will be co-chaired by the EU and the AU, and will bring together the S&T representatives from the 27 EU Member States and the 54 African countries. The dialogue will convene periodically (normally once a year) at the level of senior officials. Whenever appropriate, ministerial meetings will be held so as to provide the necessary political impetus and agree on a common vision, strategy and political leadership. The ministerial meetings will, in particular, provide vision and strategy. The senior officials meetings will ensure the continuity and further development of the regional cooperation, prepare the ministerial meetings and ensure their follow-up.

In order to ensure the necessary synergies, the co-Chairs of the Joint Experts Group of Partnership 8 will also participate and report to the Senior Officials meetings on the science component of the partnership.




A very important step was taken in Lisbon, Portugal, in December 2007, when the Heads of States and Governments of African and European Countries agreed on an enhanced dialogue and a long term cooperation framework by launching the Joint Africa-EU Strategy1 (JAES) whose implementation is through successive three-year action plans. The 8th thematic Partnership2 (P8) of the JAES is dedicated to Science, Information Society and Space. This partnership has further fostered operational links, stimulated joint strategic thinking and has emerged as a platform to explore synergies between our respective priority actions and enhanced cooperation. Europe and Africa have strengthened their scientific links; S&T cooperation has been rapidly evolving over recent years, at various levels and through a diversity of mechanisms. Furthermore there are also several significant activities developed and taking place at the bilateral level of the EU-AU Member States which are increasingly enhancing S&T cooperation between the two continents.


In order to maintain this momentum and further consolidate the 8th partnership, the 4th

Ordinary Session of AMCOST3 in Cairo, Egypt, in March 2010, commended the progress made so far in the implementation of P8 and welcomed the establishment of a high-level policy dialogue on science, technology and innovation (STI) between the EU and Africa. This was subsequently endorsed by the 3rd EU-Africa Joint Summit in Tripoli (29-30 November 2010) underscoring the need to strengthen and drive the cooperation in these fields4 between the two continents. An enhanced STI policy dialogue will allow the two sides to further develop a better common understanding and build mutual trust, to strengthen the overall cooperation framework, and to define common priorities for future science, research, development and innovation collaborative activities.


In the last decade, a widespread awareness has emerged of the need to find common answers to challenges that have a global scale: for example, energy, climate change, health, food security, migration flows, need to be treated at a global level. In this respect, the role of bi-regional scientific cooperation in priority areas of mutual interest has been the focus of recent attention by policy makers in Europe and Africa. Scientific and technological development has clearly emerged as a vehicle for economic growth, poverty reduction and sustainable socio-economic development with a crucial role in accelerating progress towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals. The European Commission brought forward the Europe 2020 policy which is the cornerstone of European economic policy for the next ten years. It is broken up into seven different flagship initiatives, one of these known as the European Union innovation flagship initiative. One of the key elements of this strategy will be to ensure that we strengthen and further co-operate with countries around the world to a greater extent so that we can tackle key global problems such as food and energy security, combating health diseases and implementing the Millennium Development Goals.


Journalists are invited to cover the opening and closing sessions



For Further Information consult the AU website:


Request for interviews should be directed to Mrs. Esther Azaa Tankou, Senior Editorial Officer, Directorate of Information and Communication, African Union Commission, e-mail: , Tel: +0911 3611 85





Dr. Beatrice Njenga,

Human Resource Science and Technology




(Attached is the draft agenda of the event.)  



EU- Africa Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Dialogue    



Draft Agenda


EU-Africa high level policy dialogue

on Science, Technology and Innovation

EU-Africa Senior Officials Meeting

10-11 October 2011,

Addis Ababa

Monday, 10 October 2011

Time    Item     Description of Item    Proposed speakers

13:00-14:00        Registration, welcome coffee    

14:00-14:40    1    Opening of the meeting

•    Opening remarks by the European Commission Co-Chair







•    Opening remarks by the AU Co-Chair









•    Adoption of the agenda    

Robert-Jan Smits, European Commission DG Research and Innovation Director General/Koen Vervaeke, EU Ambassador to the AU and/or EU Presidency Representative


Prof. Maged Al-Sherbiny, President of the Scientific Research and Technology Academy, and S&T Vice Minister, AMCOST Chair and/or Prof. Jean-Pierre Ezin, African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology AUC


14:40-15:20    2    Governance and operational guidelines of the EU-AU science, technology and innovation SOM

•    Short presentation of the draft operational guidelines

•    Discussion and adoption of operational guidelines (Terms of Reference)    SOM co- Chairs

15:20-15:40        Coffee Break    

15:40-17:10    3    Developments in science, technology and innovation policies with emphasis on EU-Africa cooperation

•    Consolidated Action Plan of the 8th EU-Africa Partnership on Science and Technology

•    Information on Innovation Union and FP7 EU-Africa related projects


•    EU-Africa Partnership on Science, Information and Space: State of play and synergies with SOM




•    Discussion    







Prof. Luis Magalhães, President of the Knowledge Society Agency UMIC, Portugal/Tunisian Co-chair


17:10-18:40    4    On which socioeconomic challenges should bi-regional cooperation focus: building on, and going beyond, existing activities?

•    Introduction by EU/Africa lead discussants


•    Discussion


•    Conclusion    Lead discussants:

Prof. Sospeter Muhongo, Full Professor of Geology at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

and Prof. José Encarnação, Professor at the TU Darmstadt

Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics in Darmstadt

19:00-20:00        Cocktail     Tbc


Tuesday, 11 October 2011

09:00-10:30    5    On what fronts should capacity building focus (e.g.; research infrastructures, human capital)? How can complementarities and synergies at regional level be enhanced?


•    Introduction by EU/Africa lead discussants


•    Discussion


•    Conclusion    Lead discussants:

Dr. Umar Bindir, Director of Technology Acquisition & Assessment of the Federal Ministry of Science & Technology, Nigeria, and

Dr. Jacques Lancon Regional Director, Eastern and Southern Africa, Cirad

10:30-11:00        Coffee Break    

11:00-12:30    6     On which cross cutting issues should the dialogue focus, share experience and develop mutual learning (governance, best practises, improved networking of existing activities)


•    Introduction by EU/Africa lead discussants

•    Discussion


•    Conclusion    Lead discussants:

Dr. Pascoal Mocumbi , High Representative of the EDCTP (EU) and

Dr. Olive Shisana, CEO of the South African Human Sciences Research Council

12:30-13:30    7    The way forward:

•    Setting objectives and priorities for future cooperation

•    Implementation and Financial mechanisms    SOM co-Chairs

13:30-14:45        Lunch    

14:45-15:45    8    Adoption of conclusions and calendar towards developing a roadmap 2012-2013 of the EU-Africa High Policy Dialogue on STI    SOM co-Chairs

15:45-16:15    9    Closure of the meeting     



African Union Commission (AUC)


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