DG EuropeAid and DG Research & Innovation invited 50 African and European representatives from 30 countries to brainstorm on key messages regarding the challenges of investing in STI in view of the IV Africa-EU Summit in April 2014.
The informal, multi-actor dialogue was opened by Elisabeth Lipiatou (DG Research) and Mahama Ouedraogo (AU Commission).
Following presentations by Prof. Dr. Knorringa from the Dutch ISS, LDE Research Center on Frugal Innovation and Technology Networks with Africa, Anneline Morgan from the Department of Science and Technology in South Africa and Prince Randy Koussou Alam-Sogan, chairman of Black Lion Rising Investments, a consulting firm specialised on investment opportunities in Africa , the participants argued that the Africa-EU partnership needs to:
- Mainstream STI within the Africa-EU partnership: Technology and Innovation should be factored into other initiatives within the Africa-EU initiatives such as higher education and mobility (Pan-African University), infrastructure (i.e. PIDA), internet access (AfricaConnect) and agriculture (CAADP);
- Encourage governments to invest in R&D and in STI : the inter-continental partnership enables governments, private sector and research institutions to join forces and to identify specific interventions of mutual interests that can be taken forward at the national level;
- Enhance the role of the private sector: The private sector is essential to transform STI investments into concrete gains;
- Apply the principles of win-win: the Africa-EU partnership is based on the pursuit of common interests and mutual obligations. These principles should continue to be the basis for future STI initiatives;
- Act in areas of comparative advantage: African and European actors have complementary assets that should be better used to optimise joint STI initiatives.
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