What is on this page?
On this page you will find information on NEPAD's work in the area of science and technology, including its aims and objectives and progress to date.
Aims and objectives
Improving access to and the quality of science and technology across Africa is a key part of improving human resource development. Science and technology offer a multitude of benefits for the continent from improving education and knowledge sharing, to increasing exposure for African innovation to improving the living conditions of the continent's residents.
NEPAD works to increase innovation, encourage partnerships, facilitate knowledge sharing and improve the volume and quality of research and development.
The Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA) has a number of programmes and projects which are grouped into two core areas. These are: (i) research and development and (ii) mechanisms to improve policy and promote technological innovation.
What is happening in the programme?
Programmes in each of the two focus areas are:
(1) R&D clusters
- Programme Cluster 1: Biodiversity, Biotechnology and Indigenous Knowledge, known as the African Biosciences Initiative (ABI).
- Programme Cluster 2: Energy, water and desertification.
- Programme Cluster 3: Material sciences, manufacturing, laser and post-harvest technologies.
- Programme Cluster 4: ICT, space science and technologies.
- Programme Cluster 5: Mathematical sciences.
(2) Mechanisms to improve policy and promote technological innovation
- Programme 1: African science, technology and innovation indicators initiative (ASTII).
- Programme 2: Improving regional co-operation in science and technology.
- Programme 3: Building public understanding of science and technology.
- Programme 4: Building a common African strategy for biotechnology.
- Programme 5: Building science and technology policy capacity.
- Programme 6: Promoting the creation of technology parks.
How does the programme work?
In order to ensure the successful implementation of the above programmes, the first Ministerial Conference on Science and Technology took the following decisions:
(i) African Ministerial Council in Science and Technology (AMCOST)
The council consists of all ministers responsible for science and technology in African. The council is responsible for establishing policies, priorities and strategies science and technology co-operation.
(ii) Steering Committee for Science and Technology
The steering committee members are Directors-General, Permanent Secretaries or officials of equivalent rank. Two members represent each of the five geographic regions of Africa. The steering committee oversees the development and implementation of programme activities and reviews progress of the CPA.
(iii) AU Commission's responsibilities
The AU Commission provides overall political and policy leadership for the implementation of the CPA.
(iv) NEPAD Office of Science and Technology
The Science and Technology office provides overall technical and intellectual leadership for the implementation of the CPA. Its role includes mobilising and directing technical expertise, establishing and promoting networks and centres of excellence, providing technical leadership for the establishment of the proposed African Science and Innovation Facility, monitoring international trends in science and technology and ensuring that the necessary adjustments are made to the CPA to respond to these trends, and monitoring the implementation of the programmes and projects.
The CPA is the start of an African process that offers many opportunities to strengthen scientific and technological capacities. Its implementation will go a long way to ensure that Africa achieves its aspirations embodied in the AU and NEPAD and meet the Millennium Development Goals. It will boost investments in R&D and technological innovation.