Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Africa needs research technology to achieve MDGs – ASSRT

The Secretary General, African Society for Scientific Research & Technology (ASSRT) Dr. Amany Asfour has said that promotion of research technology has become mandatory for achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on the continent.

Disclosing this weekend, in a public statement made available to ITRealms Online on preparations made so far on the forthcoming third ASSRT congress to be hosted in Cairo, Egypt, Asfour said the conference is being organized under the theme, “Scientific Research and Technology to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”

Asfour also said that the congress scheduled to hold in November will be held under the Human Resources, Science & Technology Cluster (ECOSOCC) African Union Economic Social Cultural Council in collaboration with National Research Center (NRC) of Egypt.

The ASSRT scribe said that the event has been slated to take place between November 1 and 3 in Cairo, Egypt.

“Our African continent is the richest continent yet the poorest of them all. The need for the promotion of Scientific Research and Technology is mandatory for the development of Africa and for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” Asfour declared.

In recognition of this initiative from the Civil Society to gather inputs and emphasize the active role of Civil Society Organizations as development partner for the lobbying and advocacy for the popularization as well as awareness of the importance of scientific research and technology that ASSRT announced the date for this year’s congress.

Asfour said the public awareness of all sectors of the society including African leaders, policy makers, decision makers, politicians, media, and private sector, is very important for the promotion of scientific research and the legislation for the enabling environment for investment in scientific research and technology.

Hence, this Congress has been planned as a way forward to achieve certain objectives that includes putting a road map for all stakeholders on how to accomplish the MDGs through scientific research and technology by promoting scientific research-related to the needs of the African Continent.

Also, Asfour said, the establishment of a database for the scientific institutes and research centers through gathering of scientists and researchers from all over Africa and the diaspora in all fields, emphasizes the role of the Civil Society as a partner of development and as an active player for the popularization and awareness for the importance of the scientific research and technology.

ASSRT president, Prof. Khaled Lotfy Dabees, emphasized some priority areas for Africa during the congress, to include health care and drug industry; agriculture and food technology; energy; infrastructure; water; environment; biotechnology, Information and Communication Technology.

Recalling that in the year 2000 the member states of the United Nations signed the Millennium Declaration, which led to the adoption of the Eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Five years later at the UN World Summit in 2005 countries reaffirmed their commitment to the MDGs.

And despite these commitments, there has been mixed progress regionally and across the globe, just as Prof. Dabees listed the eight points of MDGs to include “Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger, Achieve Universal Primary Education, Promote Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, Reduce Child Mortality, Improve Maternal Health, Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases, Ensure Environmental Sustainability, and Develop a Global Partnership for Development.”

Dabees stressed that achieving MDGs require concrete actions from national governments, development partners, civil society organizations and the private sector.

“Thus the United nations General Assembly called for building partnership between the UN, Governments and the Civil Society to accelerate the Implementation of the millennium Development Goals by 2015,” Dabees said.

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