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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

NEPAD launches second phase of ASTII

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) is determined to improved science, technology and innovation for development as plans have been advanced to launch today in the city of Addis Ababa, the second phase of the African Science Technology and Innovation Indicators (ASTII) Initiative and the African Innovation Outlook Series.

Head of ASTII Programme, Mrs. Estherine Lisinge Fotabong, and media officer at NEPAD, Mr. Gilles Eric Foadey, in a joint press statement made available to ITRealms Online said that the launch, is set to take place at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

They quoted the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency), Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, as saying that investment in science, technology and innovation is increasingly being seen by African countries as an essential element in responding to the continent’s socio-economic development needs and challenges.

He also said that the general objective of NEPAD’s work on ASTII is to build Africa’s capacity to collect, analyze and use STI Indicators ASTII is a programme within the African Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA), which was adopted in 2005 by the African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology (AMCOST).

The CPA is a framework in response to the socio-economic challenges facing the continent through the use of science, technology and innovation.

He further said the first phase of the ASTII programme which was coordinated by the NEPAD Agency in close collaboration with the Directorate of Human Resources, Science and Technology at the African Union Commission (AUC-HRST), ran from 2007 to 2010 and was designed as a learning phase, presenting nineteen African Union member States with the means and the opportunity to engage in mutual learning and sharing in order to improve the measurement of science, technology and innovation.

The participating countries in phase 1, they noted were Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Participating countries conducted Research and Development (R&D) and Innovation surveys - the outcomes of which are captured in the African Innovation Outlook 2010.

“It is in this regard that the African Innovation Outlook 2010 will be unveiled as the first in a series of reports that are intended to inform the people of Africa and other interested parties about the status of science, technology and innovation activities in African countries”, Dr. Mayaki noted.

In particular, he said the success of ASTII hinges on African ownership and strong African commitment to the process.

“The Outlook and the second phase of the ASTII initiative will be jointly launched by the AU Commissioner for HRST and the CEO of the NEPAD Agency during the engagements in Addis Ababa,” he said.

The meeting, he said, would among other things reflect on notable achievements of ASTII to date.

While the second phase of ASTII will commence this year and it will be opened to wider participation from some of the other African Union member states.

Financial and technical resources for ASTII came from the participating countries and also through a grant from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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