10-12 February 2018. Cairo, Egypt. The theme of the third edition of the 2018 Africa STI Forum, co-organized by the African Development Bank and the Egyptian Government,  is “Enhancing the competitiveness of the African private sector and transforming Africa through science, technology and innovation” – aligns with the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy and High 5 development priorities.

Download the MINISTERIAL DECLARATION of THE THIRD AFRICA SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION FORUM CAIRO, EGYPT (6 pages). 

The Forum gives priority to innovation in five areas selected for their great potential to boost and transform the economies of the continent: climate change, nutrition, water, ICTand the pharmaceutical industry.

  • 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.

Egypt, the host of the third edition of the Africa STI Forum, is one of the continent’s highest-achieving countries in science and technology, particularly at the forefront of chemistry and engineering. The last edition of the forum took place in Rabat, Morocco, in 2014, two years after the first Africa STI Forum was hosted by Kenya.

In addition to the invaluable support of the Republic of Korea and ADEA) hosted by the Bank.
Japan, the Forum is supported by approximately 20 prestigious institutional and private partners, including the African Union, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UNESCO, the World Bank, and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa.

Extract of the programme:

Parallel Session 11/02European Union- Africa Research and Innovation Partnership: Policy Framework and Funding Instruments 
Moderator: 
Prof. Hany El Shemy, Co-Chair, EU- AU High level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Science, Technology and Innovation
Panelists:

  • Ms. Fadila Boughanemi, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission 
  • Dr. Heba Gaber, Research and Innovation regional officer, European Union Delegation to Egypt 
  • Dr. Tarek El Arabi, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Egypt 
  • Mrs. Gift Kadzamira, National Commission for Science and Technology, Malawi 
  • Dr. Mohhamed Salheon, Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education for Strategic planning, Egypt.

Parallel Session 11/02: Food and nutrition technology: Innovative pathways to build grey matter infrastructure in Africa

Moderator: Prof. Adipala Ekwamu, Executive Secretary, RUFORUM

Panelists: 
  • H.E. Dr. Maria do Rosário Bragança, Minister of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Angola
    Study of traditional nutritious food is essential for our populations. It’s also important to tackle the rise of non-communicable diseases like obesity.
  • Prof. Joyce Kinabo, e-Nutrition Academy and Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania


    Which academical response is needed to address the nutritional problem? Not all solutions need to be hightech. In Rwanda 1 day per week is a car free day to force people to move more.

  • Prof. Hany A. El-Shemy, Minister Advisor for African Affairs, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific research, Egypt
    We want to establish a platform for international collaboration (involving Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and some European universities) and to harness and track all publications in the agricultural faculties of research which was done a field level. We created an incentive when researchers have published in ranked publications.  
  • Mr. Kahitouo Hien, Young scientist Graduate from the International Institute of Water and Environnent (2iE, Burkina Faso) and CEO, FasoProf, Burkina Faso
    Il est important d’appliquer les résultats de la recherche pour pallier aux déficits sociaux. Les chenilles de karité sont des insectes comestibles. En 2012 comme étudiant j’ai découvert que c’est l’un des insectes avec le plus protéines. (La viande du pauvre). Depuis 2015 après deux ans d’incubation nous arrivons à travailler avec 500 femmes. Nous avons 4 gammes de produits. La consommation d’insecte est une tradition dans plusieurs pays africains et dans nos sociétés. Il faut valoriser les insectes et mettre à la

    disposition de nos populations. Le but est de diversifies la gamme de produits. Et il y a des manières de le transformer pour le rendre acceptable : exemple comme comprime. Les chercheurs doivent nous aider afin qu’on puisse cultiver les insectes comestibles a grande échelle.

  • Mr. Faris Farrag, Founder of Bustan Aquaponics, Egypt
    What is the role of the private sector? The system requires a sustained source of energy: day and night. STI should resolve this. It requires a multi

    disciplinary and a multi stakeholder approach. We work with several Egyptian and international universities to realise this. There is a lot of potential for closer collaboration between research and Small and Medium Enterprises. We also work on renewable and sustainable packaging. Unfortunately the quality of agricultural engineers is rather low.

Discussant: 
Dr. Habiba Hassan-Wassef
  • Dr. Habiba Hassan-Wassef, Medical Doctor and Nutrition Expert, Egypt Discussions: Q/A from the audience 

A 2015 study published by The Lancet Global Health journal looked at the consumption of food (both healthy and unhealthy items) and nutrients in 187 countries in 1990 and then again in 2010. The aim was to determine which countries had the world’s healthiest diets. It found that none of the healthiest ten diets is in a wealthy Western nation, nor are any in Asia. Most were found in Africa, which is so often portrayed as a continent of constant famine in need of foreign know-how and advice on how to eat and to grow food. And yet, of the ten countries with the healthiest diets on earth, nine of them are African. This doesn’t mean that these countries have no food insecurity, hunger or malnutrition. But it does mean that it is time for a serious rethink on how “development” affects diets – especially among the development agencies, international institutions and donors in the (sometimes lucrative and self-serving) business of food aid or improving food security and nutrition in Africa.There is a need to better understand and document the trends in consumption to put in place agro industries. Another gap is appropriate legal frameworks. Food processing and intra food processing need to be dealt with. 

Grey matter is now crucial for the African Development Bank. It is important to train and create capacity in African food systems. If we want to report on advancing FNSSA research we have to overcome language barriers between anglophone, francophone and Portuguese (Lusophone) speaking African.

Evidence based policy: few African countries have translated research from FP7 in policy. It is important to exchange information on urgent nutritional and health hazards like the problem of aflatoxin.  

There is an interruption in trans-generational transmission of knowledge related to food. For example: young Moroccans are loosing the knowledge of the virtues of medicinal plants.We need to invest in African food traditions.   

There is a lot of progress in how to make insect food acceptableScience and technology can give a support during man made disasters and use insect food to tackle severe malnutrition.  Nutrition is hardly present in the curriculum of agricultural research scientists.  But it is encouraging to see that in Senegal the Nutrition coordination is at the level of the prime Ministers’ office. 

Parallel Session 11/02 : Improving Diaspora Partnerships in higher education, research and Development: Promoting Brain Circulation Organized by AIMS

Moderator

Ms. Nathalie Munyampenda, Associate Director -Partnerships and Public Engagement, Next Einstein Forum 
Panelists
  • Dr Thomas Auf der Heyde, Deputy Director-General for Research and Development Support Department of Science and Technology, South Africa 
  • Dr. Solomon Assefa, Director of IBM Research Africa 
  • Dr. Ingrid Ursula Wüning Tschol, Vice-President for Strategy, Robert Bosch Stiftung 
  • Dr. Youssef Travaly, VP of Science, Innovation & Partnerships, Next Einstein Forum 
  • Dr. Assane Gueye, Research Professor, University Alioune Diop of Bambey and NEF Fello
Related:

Related:
PAEPARD interviewed (October 2016) Prof. Dr. Hany El-Shemy of the Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University on the curriculum revision , its challenges and the collaboration with the private sector.

Questions:

  • What is the purpose of the curriculum revision?
  • What have been the biggest challenges of this curriculum revision?
  • Are farmers and private sector represented in the Faculty Council?
  • How do you attract EC funding and researchers from the European Union?
  • What about the collaboration with Sub Saharan Africa?

This post was originally published at PAEPARD by François Stepman. It has been republished here with permission.

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