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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.
avatar for Michael Backes

Michael Backes

University of Namibia
Associate Professor & Co-PI Africa Millimetre Telescope
Windhoek, Namibia

Contact Me

Prof. Michael Backes is Associate Professor, Head of the Namibian H.E.S.S. group, and of astrophysics at the University of Namibia (UNAM), as well as Extraordinary Associate Professor at North-West University (South Africa) and Academic Visitor at the University of Oxford (UK). He received his PhD and MSc in gamma-ray astronomy from TU Dortmund University (D). He got appointed a member of the Global Young Academy (GYA) and elected to their Executive Committee. He is recipient of a UNAM Meritorious Award for Best Academic Performance in the Faculty of Science, and of a GfKl Application Award by the German Data Science Society (GfKl). He was rated an Established Researcher by the South African National Research Foundation, indicative of him belonging to the highest rated 1.5% of researchers in his age group. He is the Namibian lead for a Global Challenges Research Fund project and he also serves as the founding head of the Virtual Institute for Scientific Computing and Artificial Intelligence at UNAM. His research focuses on gamma-ray loud Active Galaxies, their multi-wavelength and multi-messenger emission, as well as their long-term behaviour, centred around observations with the H.E.S.S. gamma-ray telescopes. Besides that, he is active in the fields of advanced data analysis methods for very high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, and site-testing for future observatories. He is Co-PI of the Africa Millimetre Telescope (AMT) and actively works on its establishment and its science program. Besides this hard science research, he pursues societal impact-driven activities on astro-tourism and archaeoastronomy in Namibia.
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