Ministers sign Declaration to Boost STI in Africa

The 2nd Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) ended October 17, 2014 with the signing of the Rabat Declaration by the Ministers present at the conference.

In the Declaration, the Ministers agree to:

  • Harmonize policies, legislation, strategies,  programs and action plans for STI to accelerate progress towards establishing knowledge-based economies;
  • Increase, focus  and channel applied research to solve the practical problems African societies are facing in the areas of water, sanitation, health, education, energy, agriculture, food and nutrition, security, natural resources, and climate change;
  • Strengthen the links between research and the development of enterprises and communities, and encourage the youth, especially girls, to enroll in science and technology courses;
  • Strengthen the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) by using innovative technologies  and strengthening inter-university networks;
  • Develop higher education and research, facilitate the mobility of researchers and increase networking between African universities in STI;
  • Strengthen the catalytic role of public investment in mobilizing private investment through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) for the development of STI in Africa;
  • Encourage private initiatives and entrepreneurship in science and technology to accelerate inclusive and sustainable growth and create jobs for the youth.

The Ministers are also committed to the following:

  • Supporting the strategic framework for Science, Technology and Innovation for Africa (STIA-2024) and all actions necessary "to accelerate the transition of Africa to knowledge and innovation-based economy". To this end, an operational mechanism for monitoring performance in STI will be set-up both at national and regional levels;
  • Working towards the establishment of a Trust Fund to support STI initiatives in the continent;
  • Systematizing the evaluation and monitoring of policies, plans and initiatives;
  • Continuing efforts to improve the status of researchers by establishing incentive mechanisms to increase research and encourage applied research;
  • Contributing to new initiatives aimed at promoting STI for the transformation of Africa in particular the Human Capital Development Strategy of AfDB (2014-2018), the operational strategy - "Priority Africa 2014-2021"- of UNESCO, the establishment of centers of excellence in STI in Africa by regional and international institutions (AfDB, World Bank, UNECA, ISESCO) and the redesign of the ADEA Working Group on Higher Education to include STI;
  • Strengthening collaboration among partners and regional initiatives in order to optimize the use of resources and ensure sustainability of the various interventions;
  • Setting up an ecosystem that supports innovation to create jobs for the youth and women.

The Forum, which took place in Rabat, October 14-17, 2014, was hosted by the government of Morocco and organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the government of Finland, and a number of partners including ADEA, the African Union Commission, UNESCO, ISESCO and UNECA.

Twenty-one African Ministers or their representatives attended the Forum, coming from the following countries: Benin, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Gabon, the Gambia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Sao Tome and Principe, Swaziland, Togo and Uganda.

▸ Download the Ministerial Statement of Rabat (PDF version)

 More information is available on the web site at