Given rapid advances in science and technology and growing emphasis on innovation in Africa, the African Union (AU) has established a high level advisory panel on science, technology and innovation, according to the African Union Commission (AUC).
The eight person panel will be co-chaired by Prof. Calestous Juma of Harvard University and Prof. Ismail Serageldin of the Library of Alexandria, Egypt. They will guide the AU on the review process of the Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA) which was adopted by African ministers of Science and technology in 2005 and endorsed by AU heads of state and government in 2006, with the view to moving the continent from resource-based economies into the age of innovation-led growth.
The first meeting of the panel will be held on 8 and 9 August 2012 at the Library of Alexandria in Egypt. Its report will be presented at the next conference of African Ministerial Conference on Science and Technology (AMCOST) to be held in November 2012 in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. The adopted plan will be presented to the AU heads of state and government summit of July 2013 for approval.
The overall review of the CPA is jointly coordinated by Prof. Aggrey Ambali, Head of the NEPAD Agency’s Science, Technology and Innovation Hub based in South Africa, and the Science and Technology Division of the AUC.
The CPA is Africa’s common framework for advancing science, technology and innovation through the creation, improvement and mobilisation of human resources, infrastructure and promotion of cluster research and development programmes. The current CPA was planned to be implemented within five years after which it would be reviewed in order to examine achievements, make adjustments in the plan based on successes and challenges and prepare a roadmap for implementation.
The work of the panel is supported by a working group comprising representatives from the African Union Commission, the NEPAD Agency, African Development Bank, UNESCO, UNECA, ICSU and the African Academy of Sciences.