The First African Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) concluded in Nairobi on Tuesday April 3rd by issuing the Nairobi Ministerial Declaration, which announces a range of resolutions to promote and strengthen science, technology and innovations
Ministers, science experts and other participants attending the First African Forum on STI for Youth Employment, Human Capital Development and Inclusive Growth, unanimously pledged to support and integrate STI policies, strategies, programs and action plans in national and continental agendas.
The Forum ended after a two-days meeting of experts (April 1-2, 2012) and a one-day Ministerial Conference (April 3, 2012) presided over by the President of Kenya, Honorable Mwai Kibaki.
The Experts’ Meeting considered strengthening STI by improving science, technology and mathematics education (STEM), enhancing scientific research and ensuring that higher education systems are equipped to meet the demand for STEM education. It also emphasized the need and shared successful experiences on how to nurture innovation and entrepreneurship skills, tap into existing STI knowledge and cultivate a dynamic innovation eco-system. Participants also reflected and agreed upon initiatives for harnessing STI to address agriculture, health, water and energy challenges through tangible actions.
The Ministers’ Meeting focused on the integration of STI policies in national and regional development agendas as well as STI financing mechanisms and investments.
“In spite of the progress that has been made, much more needs to be done to ensure that Africa becomes a global hub for innovations. An important strategy in this connection is the urgent need to control and reserve the massive brain drain out of the continent. We need policies and infrastructure for research and development that will attract and retain top-notch scientists” noted President Kibaki in his opening remarks for the Ministerial Conference.