The First African Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation issues Ministerial Declaration
The First African Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) concluded in Nairobi on Tuesday April 3rd by issuing the Nairobi Ministerial Declaration, which announces a range of resolutions to promote and strengthen science, technology and innovations.
The three-day Forum was hosted by the government of Kenya and organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union (AU), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA).
Ministers, science experts and other participants attending the First African Forum on STI for Youth Employment, Human Capital Development and Inclusive Growth, unanimously pledged to support and integrate STI policies, strategies, programs and action plans in national and continental agendas.
The Forum ended after a two-days meeting of experts (April 1-2, 2012) and a one-day Ministerial Conference (April 3, 2012) presided over by the President of Kenya, Honorable Mwai Kibaki.
The Experts’ Meeting considered strengthening STI by improving science, technology and mathematics education (STEM), enhancing scientific research and ensuring that higher education systems are equipped to meet the demand for STEM education. It also emphasized the need and shared successful experiences on how to nurture innovation and entrepreneurship skills, tap into existing STI knowledge and cultivate a dynamic innovation system. Participants also reflected and agreed upon initiatives for harnessing STI to address agriculture, health, water and energy challenges through tangible actions.
The Ministers’ Meeting focused on the integration of STI policies in national and regional development agendas as well as STI financing mechanisms and investments.
The outcomes and recommendations of the Forum including the Ministerial Declaration will fit into the forthcoming STI initiatives, including the AMCOST Conference in May 2012, the “Science with Africa” Meeting in June 2012 and the African Development Bank’s Annual Meetings in May 2012.