What is the Africa-EU partnership on science, information society and space?
- It is a partnership that provides a long-term framework for structured dialogue and cooperation between Africa and the European Union in the fields of science, space and the information society.
- It provides a platform for promoting ICT policies and strengthens the regulatory framework in Africa. It also contributes to harmonising ICT initiatives, including infrastructure connectivity and interoperability. It supports regional research and education networks including their interconnections to the GEANT-2 network.
- It promotes the use of ICTs of high societal impact in Africa, for example e-health and e-learning, as well as enhancing ICT human resources, e-skills and digital literacy.
- It supports the application of science and technology to achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For example through promoting integrated health research strategies and improving national capacities in areas such as health management information systems, epidemiological surveys and clinical and operational research.
- It enhances cooperation between African Regional Economic Communities on mainstreaming science and technology for socioeconomic development and competitiveness – and strengthens their capacities in this area.
- It helps develop harmonised science and technology policies in Africa, reinforces the importance of S&T in education and training and promotes the participation of the African research community in EU programmes for research and technological development.
- It allows a joint analysis of the potential of space science and applications for the better management of natural resources, navigation and safety of transport, , for coordinating humanitarian aid operations and for promoting sustainable development – areas of vital importance to Africa.
Africa is the continent where the scientific and digital divides are the widest. The MDGs identify the essential role of science and technology for socio-economic transformation. Investments in African scientific capacities have been insufficient and the continent is losing some of its best scientific and technical expertise to other regions. It is in this context, that the Africa Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action was developed, consolidating the AU Commission and NEPAD programmes related to science and technology capacity building, knowledge production and technological innovation.
Space applications provide, by their very nature, an effective platform to address problems from a regional perspective. The use of space science for development in Africa presents considerable opportunities, and appropriate institutional arrangements can help the continent to tap their benefits. Space-based systems can play a key enabling role in the attainment of Africa's sustainable development objectives and contribute to the monitoring of climate change.
Bridging the digital divide and to enhance the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) as key enablers for poverty reduction, growth, and socioeconomic development.
- A more sustainable, accessible, affordable and effective African ICT infrastructure
- Enhanced use of ICT applications in order to achieve MDG objectives, notably in the health and education sector
- Progress toward inclusive and equitable knowledge-based societiesCommon African-EU positions and approaches in international and regional ICT fora
2. Support S&T Capacity Building in Africa and Implement Africa's Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action
Bridging the scientific divide, to strengthen African capacities in the area of science and technology, and to enhance the use of science and technology as key enablers for poverty reduction, growth, and socio-economic development.
- A strengthened African S&T base
- Increased number of scientists, technicians and engineers
- Mainstreaming of S&T into RECs' sectoral programmes and projects
- Improved infrastructure and facilities for R&D
- Strengthened AU- EU cooperation on science and technology programmes
Enhanced cooperation in the use of sustainable and affordable space application and technology to support Africa’s sustainable development objectives.
- Space-related issues fully integrated in specific dialogues and cooperation initiatives in areas such as environment and resource management, climate change, air safety and navigation, peace and security
- Specific projects based on space technologies to achieve regional and global development goals.
- GMES and Africa