The third edition of the Africa Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (“Africa STI Forum”) will be held from February 10-12, 2018 in Cairo, Egypt. Co-organized by the African Development Bank and the Egyptian government, the event is also supported by the Republic of South Korea, Japan and other partners.
The fourth industrial revolution is now in motion, merging technologies and blurring the boundaries between physical, digital and biological spheres.
With this in mind, this third edition of the Africa STI Forum emphasizes the importance of research to foster innovation and exploitable goods and services, by focusing on the private sector in five areas: climate change, nutrition, water, ICT and pharmaceuticals – five selected areas as they offer tangible opportunities for economic transformation in Africa.
Objective: To achieve economic growth and enhance the competitiveness of the African private sector through the use of science, technology and innovation. This, by urging the countries of the continent to invest more in research, higher education and science, to build a knowledge economy and not to miss the train of the new industrial revolution on the move.
As a space for exchange and promotion of knowledge, the STI Forum allows a wide dissemination of the latest knowledge and technologies, best practices both at regional and global level, besides promoting entrepreneurship in higher education as well as in science and technology. African political leaders and other decision-makers – current and future – have the opportunity to draw together a common roadmap for scaling up science, technology and innovation for the African continent.
In addition to many African Ministers of Higher Education, Science and Technology, the STI Forum brings together different actors from the public and private sectors, scientists, researchers, inventors – including many young people – and cooperation partners for the development.
The first Africa STI Forum was held in Kenya in 2012. It connected STI efforts in Africa to global sustainable development processes by highlighting some of the main issues faced by the region in the preparation for the Rio+20 summit. It further informed the Bank’s human Capital Strategy 2014-2018 and catalyzed the development of various STI country profiles and policy instruments.
The second edition took place in Morocco in 2014. It was attended by 19 Minister of education, science, technology and innovation, and more than 300 participants. It enlarged the partnership to 21 international organization. It focused on assessing the state of STI in Arica, promoting innovation, showcasing global best practices. The Forum generated various knowledge products and highlighted the importance of partnerships in science, technology and innovation. Since then, the Bank approved various STI projects such as in Angola (2015), South Africa (2016), Tunisia (2017), and regional projects in Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the East African Community (EAC) in 2016.