Science, technology and innovation crucial for Africa

Earlier this month, at a meeting Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Francis Gurry, said policymakers had “a unique opportunity to define the key role that science, technology and innovation can play in achieving the development goals of the African continent.” The UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo, underlined the link between technology and economic growth, and remarked that technological progress can be used to achieve the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) before their 2015 deadline.

Green technologies can help facilitate access to energy, while innovations in the health sector can enhance service delivery. In addition, innovation in agricultural productivity can ensure food security to growing populations.

“With a fast approaching MDG deadline and transition to a post-2015 development era, innovation is a very timely topic,” Mr. Wu said. “Innovation is needed to meet our common development goals, it is important in the final push for the MDGs and in unleashing the potential for sustainable development.”

— UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo

The President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Néstor Osorio, said the African continent holds great and unexploited potential that, if coupled with innovation could create employment and development of cultural industries, leading to increased economic growth.

“Innovation is the essence of our modern society. Without harnessing its power, we will not be able to create healthy, educated or inclusive societies,” he said. “Greater efforts are needed to build partnerships among government, private sector, civil society, academia, philanthropic organizations and the international community, to promote and spread innovation for sustainable development in Africa,” he added.

External links & references

  1. Meeting speakers, topics and background
  2. UN Anti-poverty Millenium Development Goals
  3. African Technology Development Forum
  4. Advancing Science & Technology in Africa : NEPAD

 

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