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Thursday, June 17 • 11:00am - 1:00pm
Innovation Policy Capacity In Africa

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Innovation, specially social and grass root innovation, is key to address SDGs and development challenges both in Europe and Africa. Policymakers understand the need for an enabling policy and regulatory environment for innovation and championing leadership in Africa and Europe to demonstrate science and innovation contribution to society and address common glocal challenges. The AGENDA 2063, the 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) recognize this. However, the co-design of effective policies and policy instruments to enable a broader understanding of innovation, not only as an engine for economic growth, but also as a driver for societal well-being and environmental sustainability is not evident (UNESCO, 2019). In order to achieve SDG´s ( SDG 8 employment and decent jobs-in particular) and benefit from the flexible and holistic value system of the very young African region, interdisciplinary , inclusive research and education is key towards social innovation, knowledge co-production and transfer need to be better supported.
In addition to suffering from a lack of proper coordination geared towards improved and sustainable outcomes, STI policy implementation is beset by weak intersectoral linkages, limited opportunities for business-level technology absorption and limited sharing of STI learning across the sectors and are lacking not only an in-depth view of sustainability and inclusion challenges, but also specific and effective implementation measures, and funding. Resource gaps, both human and financial, are recognizedas key challenges constraining the ability of nationalinnovation systems to address sustainability problems ina comprehensive way.
Youth and women ( rural and gender in particular) unemployment or underemployment are big barriers for Sustainable development. In essence, this deals with finding mechanisms to inter alia enable exchange and interaction between more codified, science-based innovative activity in the formal sector and demand-driven, experiential innovation in the informal sector, leveraging and upgrading technological capabilities in the informal sector, and developing a supportive overall framework.To promote more collaboration between universities and industry  various policy options are recommended, among them providing incentives for research projects that bring together consortia of businesses and universities through grants and tax incentives, strengthening the intellectual property rights regime, and creating and supporting technology transfer offices in universities (Boloet al.,2015; Guimón, 2013). A complementary strategy would involve supporting bottom-up innovation. Although some sectoral policies in Africa acknowledge the role of indigenous knowledge and grassroots initiatives, the strategies systematically neglect bottom-up initiatives as a site of innovation for sustainable development.
Key note speakers will discuss on personal experiences in transfering knowledge and promoting sustainable innovation in the region and with Europe as to extract lessons to increase innovation capacities and support innovation processess.

UNESCO. 2019. Co-Designing Science in Africa: First steps in assessing the sustainability science approach on the ground. C. Aguirre-Bastos, J. Chaves-Chaparro and S. Aricò, eds Paris, UNESCO. Open Access here: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000368900.locale=en
Guimón, J. 2013. Promoting University-Industry Collaboration in Developing Countries (Policy Brief). Innovation Policy Platform, OECD and World Bank.



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Mei Lin Fung

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Juliana Chaves

Senior environmental consultant, Lifewatch ERIC
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Almamy Konte

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Thursday June 17, 2021 11:00am - 1:00pm CEST
Virtual Room: Madagascar