Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Is the European FP 7 programme a good model for Africa?

Interview with Dr. Kevin Urama African Technology Policy Studies (ATPS Kenya) at the NEPAD Tertiary Institutions Dialogue FARA Secretariat 28 - 30 July 2009, Accra, Ghana.
He thinks that the modus operandus of the European Framework Programme is very useful because:
  1. it is trying to forge partnerships and collaborations both between disciplines and across cultures and countries. Currently ATPS is working on a Manifesto for Science and Technology involving Indian, European and African partners.
  2. Work packages allow African institutes to take the lead and in this they can set their own research priorities.
  3. The multilateral research platform is a guarantee for quality control. Such types of collaboration should happen more in Africa.

He gives as an example the banana tissue culture which was developed in Kenya but now involves researchers from Cameroon, Nigeria and other places. The requirement of involving policy makers, researchers, the producers and the civil society allows for innovation to develop and forces researchers to think critically about their research.

Dr. Kevin Urama answers following questions:
  • ATPS is currently developing a Donor Watch initiative. Will newcomers like Japan, China and Brazil foster Africa-Africa collaboration ?
  • Will we have one day an African Union FP7 type of programme?