2012 ATPS Annual Conference to Reflect on a Post-Rio+20 Future
Representatives of African governments, international organizations and Africans in Diaspora are expected to converge in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 19-22 November 2012 to reflect on a post-Rio+20 future for Africa.;
The 2012 ATPS Annual Conference and Workshops will bring together a wide cross-section of the regional and international Science Technology and Innovation (STI) community, including senior ministers, African Union Commission (AUC), development partners, UN agencies, academia, civil society, NGOs, scientific and technical experts, the media and others.
The forum aims to follow-up on African Ministers call on Rio+20 to strengthen political will and international commitment to implementing the goals and ideals of sustainable development and urge developed countries to proactively fulfill previous commitments and pledges to support Africa’s efforts in achieving sustainable development. Under the theme: “Emerging Paradigms, Technologies and Innovations for Sustainable Development: Global Imperatives and Africa Realities”, a key focus at the event will be a close scrutiny of the linkages between a strengthened STI and sustainable development in Africa.
“We need to critically examine the current conditions, gaps and opportunities and provide policy options in STI for change-over to a more sustainable Africa,” Prof. Kevin Urama, Executive Director of ATPS asserts.
T¬he Conference will also reflect on the first Africa Forum on STI held in Nairobi from 1 – 3 April 2012 which called for African countries to, among other things, design STI policies and programs to implement strategies to support inclusive growth, employment opportunities, and sustainable development in Africa.
Global imperatives versus Africa realities
A number of global assessments on development trends and resource potentials suggest that Africa is on the move and the technical resource and productivity potentials for green growth is substantial. Huge opportunities therefore exist for homegrown development, but the STI capacities of the African countries to effectively participate in harnessing these comparative advantages remain dismal.
Though Africa’s scientific capacities and GDP have improved during the past decade, technological and innovation capacities remain low and the necessary institutional and governance infrastructures are only just emerging.
“The general feeling is that the global governance architectures be it in the socio-political, economic or environmental realms still leaves Africa disadvantaged in many ways.” Prof. Kevin Urama, ATPS Executive Director explains.
Despite the fact that there are pockets of success in application of STI including the mobile telephony and telecommunications, among other factors, which contributed to the sustained economic growth in the continent during the past decade, Africa generally lags behind to fully reap the benefits afforded by STI for its development.
“The notorious factors are lack of skills and capacities to foster an African development agenda, inadequate implementation of policies and programmes in the area of STI, and limited political commitment,” he adds.
ATPS therefore maintains that Africa cannot afford to remain recluse of the emerging global realities and social, economic and environmental challenges of climate change; neither should she remain a global consumer of knowledge, technologies and innovations in the new global economy, the architecture of which is emerging today.
For details visit the conference page at http://www.atpsnet.org/conferences/index.php