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Rabat to Host 2nd Ministerial Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa
The African Development Bank and its partners will organise the second Ministerial Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Africa. The forum will convene at the Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology in Rabat, Morocco from 14-17 October 2014.
Hosted by the Government of Morocco, and organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of Finland, this Forum will consist of a pre-forum (October 14), two technical conference days (October 15-16) and a Ministerial Forum (October 17). It aims at engaging African Ministers in charge of Higher Education, Science and Technology as well as Industry in a dialogue with the private sector, academia, diaspora, civil society and scientific communities globally on how to promote inclusive and green growth through scientific and technological innovation in Africa.
This forum follows the first ministerial conference on Science, Technology and Innovation, hosted by the Government of Kenya in 2012. Designed to raise the political awareness of Science and Technology in Africa, it aimed to promote youth employment, human capital development and inclusive growth. It gathered over 40 Ministers of Higher Education, Science and Technology and successfully put STI at the center of policy dialogue in Africa.
- Assessing the current state of STI in Africa;
- Showcasing global best practices and innovations in Water, Energy, Natural Resources, Education, Health, Agriculture, and Climate Change;
- Making informed choices about applications of ICT to improve development effectiveness;
- Developing skills (especially in STEM, teaching/reading and math), & job creation;
- Building strategic partnerships to move the STI agenda forward.
Given the multisectoral nature of Science, Technology and Innovation, the Forum will focus on the following key sectors: Water Resources Management, Energy and Green Growth, Agriculture and Food Security, Natural Resources, Climate Change, Youth, Gender, Education and Health.
Special Africa Content Award: Using Mobile Technology to find practical solutions to development problems
The 2nd Africa STI Forum will showcase the best practices from Africa and around the world for addressing these issues and it will explore how similar programs can be designed, developed and implemented in Africa. The objective is to find practical solutions to prevailing problems that can be financed by the African Development Bank and its development partners. As such the AfDB has partnered with World Summit Award (WSA) to launch a Special Africa Content Award in mobile technology in 35 African countries. This is a global initiative in the framework of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) that selects best practices in interactive content from all UN member states. For the first time, WSA will organize a special competition across Africa to recognize innovative and creative applications from Africa contributing to an inclusive knowledge society. The African winners will receive their awards during the forum in Rabat, and present their innovations to the public.
Africa STI Hub – a new Community of Practice (CoP)
After the first Forum several Ministers requested a virtual platform to connect global networks of scientists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and educators. As such the AfDB and its partners recently launched the www.africastihub.org and will start the debate of the second ministerial forum on this virtual platform.
The pre-forum will consist of an innovation exhibition organized jointly with the Moroccan Innovation Center to provide an opportunity for African innovators to showcase their work.
Visits to technoparks, higher education and research institutions preparing graduates for the labor market in partnership with the International University of Rabat will also be organized for interested participants.