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Tuesday, June 15 • 8:45am - 12:00pm
Africa-Europe Science Innovation Summit: Opening Plenary

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Our "Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Summit" is intended to enhance science and innovation cooperation between Africa and Europe and build on key policy and programme initiatives to establish a more enabling environment for science and innovation policy codesign, programme cooperation and capacity building.
AERAP is a response to the European Parliament Written Declaration 45 on Science Capacity Building in Africa. This call was repeated by the Heads of State of the African Union through their Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.407 CXVIII. AERAP encourages policymakers to understand the need for an enabling policy and regulatory environment for science cooperation with Africa and championing leadership in Africa and Europe to demonstrate science's contribution to society and address common glocal challenges.
The June 2021 Summit will draw on a range of processes, including AGENDA 2063, Africa's blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse; the AU Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA-2024)the European Commission; Communication Towards a Comprehensive Strategy with Africa which foresees future cooperation built on five partnerships: green transition, digital transformation, growth and jobs, peace and governance and migration and mobility. All of these areas will rely on science and innovation cooperation.

Over the past decade, Africa's economic achievement created a new vibrancy on the continent, among the world's most rapidly growing economic regions - before the pandemic affecting economies globally. While momentum is widely recognised, longer-term growth depends on sustained investment in an innovative workforce to advance a knowledge economy. Investments in science and technology are attributed to more than half of the gains in gross national product among high-income countries and up to 85% of the gains in per capita income over the past several decades.

African nations are starting from a modest baseline in realising these potentials, representing 15% of the globe's population and 5% of its gross domestic product (GDP), yet just 1.3% of global investment in research and development (R&D). The scientific workforce deficits are acute: the continent possesses 198 researchers per million inhabitants (by comparison: Chile: 428; UK: 4000). Enrollment rates in tertiary education are low, 7.1%, compared to global average of 25.1%. African countries spend well less than the agreed African Union (AU) target to reach R&D investment of 1% of GDP.

However, there are compelling grounds for optimism as public and private sectors ramp up scientific investment in the coming years. Scientific innovation in Africa is on the rise, and momentum is building for new measures to strengthen and sustain the capacity of African universities and research institutions to become an effective force for economic growth and develop local solutions to development challenges. The STISA-2024, Agenda 2063, and the SDGs compacts all point to a commitment for action. Catalysing sustainable and effective change, however, calls for a unified vision of collaboration and development. The prime driver will be African governments investing in their future.

The timing truly is opportune. A new generation of African political leaders is technically trained. New private sector investments are fueling substantive R&D projects in Africa. Moreover, by 2034 the continent will possess the world's largest working-age population (1.1b), larger than that of either India or China – a potent "demographic dividend" and valued asset in an ageing world. An expanding working-age population is associated with strong rates of GDP growth. However, the challenge will be to ensure that its economies create enough skilled jobs for the many millions entering the workforce.

08h40            Declan Kirrane AERAP, Belgium and South Africa
08h45            Takalani Nemaungani AERAP, Belgium and South Africa
08h50            Mahama Ouedraogo African Union Commission, Ethiopia

Creating an enabling environment for Africa-Europe science and innovation cooperation
09h00            Jean Pierre Bourguignon President European Research Council
09h10             Manuel Heitor Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Portugal
09h20            Phil Mjwara Director-General  Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa
09h30            Thomas Dermine Secretary of State for Science Policy, Belgium
09h40            Racey Muchilwa Country President and Head, Novartis Global Health Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa
09h55             Maria Cristina Russo Director for International Cooperation, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission, Belgium

Science for our Societies and our Way of Life
10h05             Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director, Telecommunication Development International Telecommunication Union, Switzerland
10h15             Lora Borrisova Cabinet Commissioner Urpilainen, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium
10h25             Kurt Zatloukal, Medical University Gratz, Austria
10h35             Phil Diamond SKAO Director-General, United Kingdom
10h45             Michael Makanga Director, European Development Countries Clinical Trails Partnership (EDCTP)
10h55             Mirjana Povic Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI)
11h05              Juan Miguel González-Aranda LifeWatch ERIC Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services Research Infrastructure and ERIC Forum, Spain

Common Challenges: Working together with  Common Values for Common Responses
11h15              Sarah Anyang Agbor Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, African Union Commission, Ethiopia
11h20             Carlos Zorrinho MEP, Member of the European Parliament, Belgium
11h25              Gilles Bloch President, INSERM, France
11h35              Intisar Soghayroun Ministry of Higher education and Scientific Research, Sudan
11h45              Val Munsami South African National Space Agenc


Phil Diamond

Director-General, SKAO
avatar for Phil Mjwara

Phil Mjwara

Director General, Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), South Africa
Dr Phil Mjwara has served as the Director General of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) since April 2006. In this capacity he is responsible for all policy development in the science and technology sector in South Africa, as well as the portfolio management and governance... Read More →
avatar for Kurt Zatloukal

Kurt Zatloukal

Director of the Diagnostic and Research Center for Molecular BioMedicine, Director BBMRI.at, Medical University Graz
Kurt Zatloukal, M.D.  is professor of pathology at the Medical University of Graz, Austria and is head of the Diagnostic and Research Center for Molecular Biomedicine. His research focusses on molecular pathology of diseases as well as biobanking and related technologies. He coordinated... Read More →
avatar for Takalani Nemaungani

Takalani Nemaungani

Acting Chief Director, Department of Science and Innovation
Takalani Nemaungani:Takalani Nemaungani is currently the Acting Chief Director for the Astronomy portfolio at the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) in South Africa – Astronomy is a flagship project receiving the single largest investment in the budget within the DSI. Trained... Read More →
avatar for Declan Kirrane

Declan Kirrane

Declan Kirrane is the founder and Managing Director of ISC Intelligence in Science in Brussels. He has more than 25 years of experience disseminating scientific and research activities in Europe and worldwide from organizations and governments. He has been involved in the dissemination... Read More →
avatar for Juan Miguel González-Aranda

Juan Miguel González-Aranda

Chief Technology Officer and Director for Spain. ERIC FORUM Executive Board Member, LifeWatch ERIC
Currently LifeWatch ERIC Chief Technology Officer and Director for Spain. ERIC FORUM Executive Board Member representing the ENVRI cluster, and former Chair of ERIC FORUM too.As e-Biodiversity expert holding a PhD. Engineer on Telecommunications, and Industrial Organization-Enterprise... Read More →
avatar for Maria Cristina Russo

Maria Cristina Russo

Director for Global Approach and International Cooperation in R&I at European Commission, European Commission
Maria Cristina Russo is Director for International Cooperation in DG Research and Innovation with responsibility for developing and implementing the EU international strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation and the international dimension of the Horizon programme.She... Read More →
avatar for Manuel Manuel Heitor

Manuel Manuel Heitor

Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Portugal, Government of Portugal
Manuel Heitor was born in Lisbon, in 1958.He holds a PhD from Imperial College of London in Mechanical Engineering, in 1985, and a post-doctorate in California University, in San Diego, in 1986. He pursued his academic career at Instituto Superior Técnico, in Lisbon, where he developed... Read More →
avatar for Thomas Dermine

Thomas Dermine

Secretary of State for Science Policy, Belgium, Government of Belgium
Thomas Dermine, born on 1 May 1986 in Charleroi, is a French-speaking Belgian economist and politician who is a member of the Socialist Party.On 1 October 2020, he was appointed State Secretary for Economic Recovery and Strategic Investment with responsibility for Science Policy... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Anyang Agbor

Sarah Anyang Agbor

Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, African Union Commission, Ethiopia
Professor Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang Agbor is the African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology (elected in July 2017) which consists of: Education, Youth and Capacity Development and Science and Technology. Before being elected, she was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor... Read More →
avatar for Ole Petter Ottersen

Ole Petter Ottersen

President, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
Ole Petter Ottersen is a neuroscientist. His research focuses mainly on signal molecules and synaptic transmissions in the brain. He clarified the function of membrane molecules in the brain, an accomplishment that could serve as the starting point for the development of new medicines... Read More →
avatar for Lora Borissova

Lora Borissova

Cabinet Commissioner Urpilainen, European Commission
Lora Borissova is currently Head of Cabinet of Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel. She is an European External Action Service (EEAS) official, previously working as political advisor to the Political Director and as deputy Head of the Election and Democracy... Read More →
avatar for Immaculate Kassit

Immaculate Kassit

Data Protection Commissioner, Office of Data Commission Kenya
Ms. Immaculate Kassait, MBS was appointed as the first Data Protection Commissioner on 12th November 2020 by his H.E the President, following a competitive recruitment process by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and vetting by the National Assembly.Ms. Kassait is an advocate of... Read More →
avatar for Doreen Bogdan-Martin

Doreen Bogdan-Martin

Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau, International Telecommunication Union, Switzerland
Doreen Bogdan-Martin was elected Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau in November 2018 and took office on 1 January 2019, and is the first woman in ITU history to hold one of the organization’s top elected management positions.She is a strategic leader with more... Read More →
avatar for H.E. Dr. Ahmedin Mohammed

H.E. Dr. Ahmedin Mohammed

State Minister and currently acting Minister of Innovation and Technology, Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute(ESSTI)
Dr. Ahmedin is State Minister at the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Ministry of Innovation and Technology since June 2019. Dr. Ahmedin has PhD Degree in Computer Technology and Engineering. He authored 20+ articles in International reputable journals and conferences. Currently... Read More →
avatar for Edith Heard

Edith Heard

Director General, European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Germany
Edith Heard is Director General of the EMBL. She studied Natural Sciences specialising in Genetics at Cambridge University and then obtained her PhD from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London. After a postdoc at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, she set up her group in 2001 at... Read More →
avatar for Michael Makanga

Michael Makanga

Director, EDCTP
Dr. Michael Makanga, MD PhD FRCP: EDCTP Executive Director.Dr. Makanga is a clinician-scientist with 27 years of professional experience of working on health and poverty-related infectious diseases in Africa. This includes 23 years of work experience on medical product development... Read More →
avatar for Jean-Pierre Bourguignon

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon

JEAN-PIERRE BOURGUIGNONProfessor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon is President ad interim of the European Research Council (ERC) (from 27 July 2020 until the next ERC President is selected and takes up duties).Previously, he was the ERC President from January 2014 until December 2019.Prior... Read More →
avatar for Mirjana Povic

Mirjana Povic

Assistant professor in astrophysics, ESSTI, Ethiopia; IAA-CSIC, Spain; MUST, Uganda
Mirjana Pović (1981, Serbia) is an assistant professor at the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI), an associate researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía in Spain, and an honorary lecturer at Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda... Read More →
avatar for Mahama Ouedraogo

Mahama Ouedraogo

Director, Science and Technology Department, African Union Commission
Mahama Ouedraogo holds a PhD in plant breeding from Texas A&M University. He served as acting Director of the Semi-Arid Food Grain Research and Development and Executive Secretary of the African Union Scientific Technical and Research Commission.He is currently the head of the Science... Read More →
avatar for Racey Muchilwa

Racey Muchilwa

Head of Novartis Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), Novartis (KENYA), Novartis
avatar for Val Munsami

Val Munsami

Chief Executive Officer, SANSA South African National Space Agency
Dr Munsami holds a PhD in Physics, a Masters of Business Leadership, a Space Studies Program Diploma, and a Certificate in International Air, Space and Telecommunications Law. He worked in South Africa’s Secretariat for the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, managed... Read More →

Tuesday June 15, 2021 8:45am - 12:00pm CEST
Virtual Room: Ethiopia