Science, information society and space
Africa is the continent where the scientific and digital divides are the widest. The MDGs
identify the essential role of science and technology for socio-economic transformation.
Investments in African scientific capacities have not been prioritized and the continent is
loosing some of its best scientific and technical expertise to other regions. It is in this context,
that the Africa Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action was developed,
consolidating the AU Commission and NEPAD programmes related to science and
technology capacity building, knowledge production and technological innovation.
The MDGs also identify information and communication technologies (ICTs) as key enablers
for poverty reduction and growth. Although ICTs are multi-sectoral tools for socio-economic
development, a dedicated coherent strategy needs to be implemented in order to develop an
inclusive information society in Africa. It is on these principles, and in the context of the World
Summit on Information Society, that the African Regional Action Plan for Knowledge
Economy (ARAPKE), an AU initiative, was developed.
Space applications provide, by their very nature, an effective platform to address problems
from a regional perspective. The use of space science for development in Africa presents
considerable opportunities, and there is a need to establish institutional arrangements to
enable Africa to tap their benefits. Space-based systems can play a key enabling role in the
attainment of Africa's sustainable development objectives and contribute to the monitoring of
Bridging the digital and scientific divide within African countries and between Africa and other regions, as well as fostering cooperation on space applications and technology to support Africa's sustainable development objective underlie the Africa-EU Partnership on Science, Information Society and Space.
African Virtual Campus - technology in action
A network of fully operational e-learning centres is being set up across Africa, giving the continent the capacity to train up large numbers of teachers in the fields of science, engineering and technology.