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May 27, 2024

Science, Tech Crucial to Agricultural Development in Africa – Experts

Experts have said that Science, innovation, and technology are critical to Africa’s transformation in agriculture and others. 

This was stated in a press release by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa(ECA) at the end of a two-day African Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

According to the stakeholders, Africa can build a more prosperous, just, and sustainable future if countries invest in science, technology, and innovation.

Belete Molla, Ethiopia’s Minister of Technology and Innovation, said fostering innovation in key sectors like agriculture, clean energy, and healthcare can create jobs, improve livelihoods, and lift millions out of poverty in Africa.

He said Ethiopia’s commitment to improving its agricultural sector and ensuring food security is a good example to be emulated by other countries in Africa.

Antonio Pedro, the deputy executive secretary for Programme Support at the ECA, said Africa must invest in human capital development, research, and development.

Mr Pedro said Africa should also invest in learning how to produce, sell, and use emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and genomics that are transforming every aspect of life.

He said the STI forum was designed to foster collaboration, the diffusion of technology and innovation, and the scaling up of policy and operational efforts. He said this was to accelerate the contribution of science, technology, and innovation to implementing the 2030 Agenda.

According to the ECA executive secretary, the STI forum has grown over the years to become a premier platform for addressing the opportunities and challenges offered by science, technology, and innovation.

Mr Pedro said this was to foster strategic partnerships and implement scalable and innovative solutions. He said in 2022, the forum inaugurated the Alliance of Entrepreneurial Universities in Africa.

Meanwhile, Lidia Brito, the assistant director-general for Natural Sciences at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), said international collaboration in science was crucial in fostering peace and sustainable development.

Javier Pérez, the ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to the African Union and ECA, said science and technology advanced development in societies.

Mr Pérez said that if young people and women were empowered to become the next generation of technology entrepreneurs and innovators, they would likely trigger transformational change.

He reiterated that the European Union was investing 279 million in Africa for research and innovation to support both the SDGs and Agenda 2063 for Africa.

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