This event has ended. Visit the official site or create your own event on Sched.
AERAP Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Forum, 7 - 10 March 2023
The Forum will be designed to inform and engage with policymakers to ensure that the role and contribution of science, enabled through digital technologies, is reflected in European Union and its Member States’ policies concerning Africa. The meetings will also be designed to increase the level of participation and reinforce the networking by African nations’ with their partners in related EU programmes and science and innovation programmes supported by European Union member states and some associated countries. Digital capacities, existing and new, for expanding science inclusion and citizen participation by all groups in society across Africa, will be explored.
Key policy and programme developments include:
The meeting will address a range of themes, including Biodiversity Health, Medicine, Life Sciences, Geoscience, ICT, Digital Transformation, the Green Agenda, Women and Girls in science, Astronomy, reskilling and upskilling and Agri-food systems. In the Forum, we will examine the feedback loops between scientific funding, education funding, and digital transformation to support evidence for policymakers.

The meeting will also consider how emerging regulations covering data protection, medical devices, in-vitro diagnostics, and other areas impact science in Africa and science and innovation cooperation between Africa and the European Union.

The global context will be considered through the inclusion of speakers from the UN, OECD and other multilateral bodies.

The programme below is still in development so please check it regularly for updates.
Back To Schedule
Wednesday, March 8 • 11:00am - 12:00pm
(08921) Science Capacity building in Portuguese Speaking Countries in Africa

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.
Add to your schedule to access the video stream
Africa’s history shaped the continent in its actual 54 countries recognized by United Nations, from which 5: Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Principe and Guiné-Bissau share the same official language, being usually designated as Portuguese Speaking Countries in Africa.

Apart from the common language, these countries are different in area, population, economic growth, and natural resources. Angola and Mozambique, the largest in area and population are also the ones with rich mineral reserves, such as oil, gas and precious minerals. Cape Verde, São Tomé and Principe e Guiné-Bissau are smaller in size, population and with limited natural resources.

However, all these countries share Africa’s population trend of having more than 60% of its population under 25 years that induces the investment that should be made in this potential human asset.

Facing limited financial resources, local governments main concerns are focused in primary and secondary education, relegating higher education and scientific research to second place. This framework leads to countries with a significant shortage of skilled workforce, resulting in weak institutions and delayed development.

The investment in capacity building through higher education and scientific research must be regarded as a priority in what concerns international cooperation. Several European countries at a bilateral level, framed or not by EC mechanisms, are actively supporting academic and scientific development in many African countries, yet some face language barriers that keep them away from international funding mechanisms, with heavy requirements and complicated procedures in a foreign language.

Portugal, having the same official language and a Member State of European Union, throughout specific cooperation instruments, should assume an important role fostering capacity building in these 5 countries and bridging appropriated collaboration with other European Countries willing to actively participate in this mission.

The efforts to strengthen capacity building must be approached in several dimensions, being thus indispensable to work with people, local institutions, and local governments, towards knowledge acquisition, institutional management and enabling policies.

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, through the Division of Sustainable Development regularly issues guidelines on International Cooperation for Capacity-Building in Developing Countries, however we usually face international mechanisms and instruments aiming to enhance capacity building in African countries that deliver poor results and lack in local impact. These actions must and could be improved.

It is therefore fundamental that the organizations and entities focused on fostering capacity building in Africa are committed to engage in regular debates and experience’s sharing, to increase the efficiency and rise the impact of the initiatives.

avatar for Susana Catita

Susana Catita

Director, Ciência LP Center
Susana Catita is the Executive Director of the “Centro Ciência LP”, a category 2 center, under the auspices of UNESCO. With academic backgrounds in Sociology and International Relations, she also did postgraduate and complementary training in Strategic Studies, Civil Crisis... Read More →

Wednesday March 8, 2023 11:00am - 12:00pm CET
Embassy of South Africa, Belgium