Concept Note

Why this forum?

STI is a key component for sustainable growth and development. The capacity of African countries to compete in the global market depends on their ability to innovate and apply the relevant technology to industries and the productive sectors. Investments in STI and the integration of STI into education, economic and industrial policies can increase global market competitiveness, create employment and increase productivity.

Decision-makers face the challenge of developing and implementing STI policies and the quality of their decision-making is largely contingent on the work done by experts. It is therefore important to create a platform that brings together decision-makers, experts and actors and stakeholders in STI.

The forum will provide this platform and will facilitate the sharing of experiences and analysis of best practices in strengthening STI mechanisms, designing policy measures for the promotion of innovation, entrepreneurship and youth employment, harnessing the role of innovation in the informal sector, and increasing the participation of women and youth in STI.


The 1st STI Africa Forum aims to achieve the following:

  • Take stock of progress made by countries and share experiences of developing and implementing STI policies;
  • Present existing knowledge on best practices in promoting STI for inclusive growth and social development in Africa;
  • Support African countries by providing a forum for the exchange of knowledge and ideas on STI, bringing together key stakeholders and experts in the field to present latest research and programs;
  • Create an Africa focused global network of development innovators and problem solvers;
  • Reinforce North-South and South-South collaborations in STI;
  • Strengthen public-private partnerships between governments, industry and technology companies;
  • Foster regional cooperation on STI among higher education institutions to cater to an increasingly demand-driven education system;

Main issues

Main issues that will be discussed are the following:

  • Problem 1: What can Africa do to meet the demand for quality STEM education in Higher Education Institutions ?
  • Problem 2: How can we ensure that STEM graduates have the skills required by prospective private (and public) sector employees? How have Asia and Latin American countries tackled these issues?
  • Problem 3: Many African research centers are trapped in a vicious circle in which low funding levels lead to low quality research with low social and economic relevance. How can a new deal for African R&D provide increased funding for African science in exchange for enhanced quality and relevance? How can inter-disciplinary Pan-African and international partnerships support this process without diluting the focus on Africa’s problems as defined by Africans?
  • Problem 4: How can a strengthened STI system promote clean drinking water, renewable energy, effective health care, jobs particularly for the youth, and human capital development and inclusive growth?
  • Problem 5: How do we build skills to find, adapt and adopt existing global, innovation and knowledge?
  • Problem 6: How can Africa cultivate a dynamic innovation eco-system?