12.03.2013 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Improving the governance of the Science, Technology and Innovation

Participants on the STI workshop in Dakar (March 2013)©UNESCO

"One of the major challenges facing policymakers in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Africa is the lack of information, specific indicators and capacity for technical analysis to design policies in this domain," said Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of the UNESCO Dakar at the opening of a workshop in Dakar, Senegal.

To help solve this problem,UNESCO’s Division for Science policy and  Capacity Building  together with BREDA office and the STI regional partners are organizing a workshop from 12 to 14 March 2012 to discuss this issue.

Investment in STI and their integration into education, economic and industrial policies is important as it is a means to creating jobs and increasing the productivity and competitiveness of African countries on the world market.

The workshop will bring together government officials and policy makers in STI, academics and statisticians from Burundi, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Niger and Senegal, as well as development partners in the area of STI. 

New global initiatives

It will, says the Director of the UNESCO Dakar, strengthen the capacity of participants to contribute to the implementation at the regional level of new global initiatives such as the UNESCO Global Observatory on STI Policy Instruments (GOSPIN), as well as the Global Assessment Programme (STIGAP).

"Beyond the aspect of capacity building of the participants, the meeting will exchange on policy issues, enhancing working relationships between them at the national level as well as create sub-regional networks," adds Ndong-Jatta.

Great interest

The workshop is part of a project on STI led by UNESCO Science Policy Division since 2008 and funded by the Spanish Government. With a budget of $1.5 million, the project focuses on two aspects namely the formulation or implementation of STI policies and instruments and support for capacity development at regional level. This project is of great interest to governments as it meets a real need.

Country profiles to inform policy

After the workshop, participants are expected to develop country profiles on STI. The evidence gathered at country level will then be standardized by UNESCO and integrated into the online platform GOSPIN, comprising a set of databases with powerful analytics and graphics.

The countries will then be accompanied by the African Observatory for Sciences, Technology and Innovation (AOSTI) that recently signed a cooperation agreement with UNESCO on the development of these profiles by July 2013. The profiles represent an important contribution to the governance of STI in Africa and will be very useful for informing STI policy.

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