Monday, 16 November 2009

CAAST-Net Stakeholders' Conference on Africa-Europe Science and Technology Cooperation

10 and 11 November 2009. Mombasa, Kenya. The Kenyan Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MoHEST) in collaboration with the International Bureau of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (IB of BMBF) held the CAAST-Net Stakeholders' Conference on Africa-Europe Science and Technology Cooperation: Status and Way Forward,

The event was organised with reference to the Joint EU-Africa Strategy and its 8th Partnership for Science, Information Society and Space, and addressed common European-African interest in an enhanced science and technology cooperation as well as the respective policy framework.

The conference comprised a range of different sessions and workshops in order to elaborate on good practice and chances for synergies and coherences in science and technology policies and frameworks. It also provided common ground for joint policy recommendations and thus support the strategic S&T policy dialogue between Africa and Europe on all levels.

The main objectives of the conference were:
  • To support the dialogue between European and African S&T stakeholders from different spheres (the policy and science community);
  • To explore the opportunities and limitations of present S&T cooperation mechanisms (for example, within the framework of FP7, bilateral scientific cooperation as well as development cooperation);
  • To pave the way towards an enabling policy framework for S&T cooperation.

FARA presented during this conference the PAEPARD project: Platform on African European Partnerships in Agricultural Research for Development.

Presentations on the existing landscape, as well as case studies of successful cooperation examples, set the scene for specific workshops focused on three key aspects of bi-regional cooperation: the role of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), the role of bi-lateral cooperation and in particular the value of bi-lateral S&T agreements, as well as the question of how to achieve closer synergy between S&T and development agendas.

It is envisaged that the finalised recommendations of the conference will be disseminated within policy fora at the highest level-in particular, policy dialogues taking place around the implementation of the 8th Partnership for Science, Information Society and Space of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, as well as in the fora of the African Union and European Union commissions.

Background: The CAAST-Net Stakeholders' Conference on Africa Europe Science and Technology Cooperation: Status and Way Forward is an activity of CAAST-Net - the Network for the Coordination and Advancement of Sub-Saharan Africa-EU Science and Technology Cooperation. CAAST-Net is the Seventh Framework Programme INCO-NET for Sub-Saharan Africa. Greater enhancement of the policy dialogue among African and European stakeholders is one important strategic activity of CAAST-Net, and this conference is the first of a series to be organised.