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05.04.2016 Africa

The 3rd Senior Officials Meeting of the Africa-EU high level policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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The department of Human Resources, Sciences and Technology (HRST) today 4th April 2016 held the 3rd Senior Officials Meeting of the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on science, technology and innovationin collaboration with the European Commission at the African Union Commission (AUC), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The EU-Africa High-Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on science, technology and innovation (STI) is a platform established to promote dialogue on STI between the EU and Africa under the Lisbon 2007 Joint Africa-EU Strategy. The HLPD has so far held two Senior Officials meetings, in Addis Ababa in October 2011and in Brussels in November 2013.The Senior Officials in their second meeting agreed to work towards a long-term co-owned Research and Innovation Partnership (R&IP). They further agreed on the first priority namely “the role of science, technology and innovation in ensuring Food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture, (FNSSA)”. In the implementation of these conclusions, the Bureau of the EU-Africa HLPD worked on the development of a roadmap towards this EU-Africa R&I Partnership on FNSSA for collaborative research and innovation, taking the whole value chain into consideration. This roadmap proposes the basis for a joint research agenda, short-to medium term actions towards implementation (2014-2017) and reflections on long-term options for implementation (2018-2020 and beyond) and is based on the input of three different working groups.

The Commissioner of the Human Resource, Science and technology (HRST), H.E Dr. Martial De-Paul Ikounga in his remarks appreciated the efforts of the senior officials since the Lisbon 2007, and also expressed his gratitude to the HLPD Bureau for successfully organizing this third policy dialogue. “It is now time for European and African continents, with their rich and complex history, to forge a new and stronger partnership that builds on their new identities and renewed institutions, capitalize on the past and provide a solid framework for long-term, systematic and well integrated cooperation”. The Commissioner expressed.

H.E. Dr. Martial De-Paul Ikounga reiterated that the ambition of the Lagos Plan of Action was that no African country could obtain consistent results from its research system unless it commits at least 1% of its GDP. He emphasized that while simulation within the context of STISA 2024 shows that for the year 2013, 1% of the continent's GDP could amount to 23 billion U.S. dollars it is disheartening to observethat only two or three countries have so far achieved or are in the phase of achieving the goal of 1% of investment in R&D.

Furthermore, the Commissioner re-emphasized that the roadmap developed on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture within the EU-Africa partnership will be instrumental in delivering on the people centered long-term Agenda 2063 and in addressing the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He acknowledged the efforts of the EU in its funding strategy for the economic growth of Africa through investing in Science, technology and innovations.

Mr. Wolfgang Burtscher, Deputy Director General and Co-chair of the HLPD; DG research and Innovation European Commission in his statement appreciated the role of Science, technology and innovation, which has gained momentum with agenda 2030, and further calling for increased international cooperation. The deputy director mentioned that EU's commitment ''HORIZON 2020'' is open to international cooperation. EU has strong investment within the areas of science and technology, geared towards providing solutions for example: climate change, sustainable energy production, and food and nutrition security.

Mr. Wolfgang Burtscher expressed deep gratitude to the African Union Commission for hosting the HLPD meeting and to the bureau of the HLPD for a better implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation at continental levels. He applauded AU's interest in investing in science, technology and Innovation and reiterated the significance of adopting the roadmap towards the jointly EU-Africa Research and Innovation partnership. Mr. Burtscher underlined that the European Commission already dedicated a 97.5 Euros budget towards implementation. He welcomed the commitments some of the European and African countries are ready to make towards this Research and Innovation partnership.

Prof. Prof. Hany El-Shemy

Dean of the faculty of Agriculture, AU Co-chair of the HLPD called upon delegates to work hard during the two days deliberations to come up with insightful recommendations and outcomes. In addition, professor El-Shemy underscored that Africa has potentials, resources but investing in science and technology is a prerequisite, by the partnership between AU and EU, Africa will move forward its Agenda 2063.

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