The recent Conference on Science and Technology Innovation (STI) across Africa, recently held in Kigali, Rwanda, concludes with an urgent call to the African Union, the African Development Bank, African governments such as the United Nations, the Regional Economic Communities and continental agencies. I did. The Economic Commission for Africa maintains awareness of the role and importance of STI in socio-economic progress.
The meeting also urged African countries to ensure the integration of STI into their respective development frameworks, reiterating the centrality of science and technology in socio-economic development, including the transformation of rural life on the continent. ..
This appropriate and timely call was led by the experts of the main organizers. Government of Rwanda through AATF, Ministry of Agriculture and African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa Development.
The African government has repeatedly played the role of STI in the transformation of the agricultural sector as an essential engine for the survival and growth of the continent, but the process is slow in continuous and new challenges. I’m on the way.
After Covid-19, and from these calls, evidence of new challenges emerged, along with them, the opportunity to mitigate. Efficiency, resilience, digitization, agility, sustainability.
From the perspective of an impressive policy initiative, with limited implementation, many gaps have emerged, including: Science and technology are narrowly defined. Insufficient emphasis on innovation. Above all, the level of preparedness for innovation is low and the infrastructure is poor.
But, as already mentioned, the agricultural and structural transformation of Africa lies in the progress of STI. To this end, immediate and continuous improvements in information and communications technology are needed to increase food production and biotechnology and nanotech to combat diseases that affect agricultural productivity such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV. You need to take advantage of it.
Indeed, most countries lack the scientific and technical capabilities needed to engage in these applications, but there are challenges that must be addressed here.
The post-Kigali resolution should be a guide to ensure adequate coordination with institutions to build an integrated system that works as evidence suggests. Africa used to still focus on research and development, but with a minimal focus on domestic technology and innovation, its success was minimal. Africa needs to be built on working benchmarks and implementation strategies.
Kigari’s voice is on increasing security-related agricultural budgets, as in some countries, and on innovative, concrete dialogues across science, engineering, entrepreneurial skills, scientific skills, and cross-cutting. You need to hear along with your investment in a backed infrastructure.
Universities, private companies, financial institutions, technical assistance agencies, policy-making and research institutes, think tanks and governments can work together to scale up, speed and increase productivity to strengthen capacity at the national level. It shall have a direct impact on the progress of agricultural machinery and technology. Seed technology, irrigation, fertilizer, and therefore higher yields.
Against the backdrop of Africa’s food bill, which is estimated to reach $ 110 billion by 2025, the threat of climate change, population growth and the emergence of various pests and diseases is unsustainable. These steps are an essential engine to promote continental GDP, industrialization, the achievement of the Africa 2063 Agenda, and her own contribution to the SDGs.
The writer is a pan-Africanist and a former columnist for New African Magazine. [email protected]
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