By Mekonnen Teshome
(December 12, 2018, Pretoria) – The African Union announced the launching of “Innovation and Emerging Technologies Dialogue” by it High Level Panel and the NEPAD Agency.
The newly launched initiative named the “Calestous Juma Dialogue on Innovation and Emerging Technologies” has an ultimate goal of developing a culture of science and technology among Africans.
According to Prof. Berhanu Abegaz, an eminent Ethiopian chemist and scholar, who also made the announcement at the Science Forum South Africa 2018 in Pretoria, the Calestous Juma Dialogue is a comprehensive package that provides a platform for knowledge and experience sharing and capacity strengthening.
He indicated that the initiative is “An executive dialogue and short courses on innovation and emerging technologies, a component that delivers capacity building in STEM pedagogy using formal and informal methods to youth, teacher trainers, teacher deployed in the field , and education practitioners, to enable them adopt STEM-responsive teaching methodologies.”
It also focuses on capacity building in entrepreneurial and life skills for youth engaged in small and medium ICT businesses, awards and prizes for youth involved in science, technology and innovation as well as organize science fairs in collaboration with schools.
Prof. Berhanu told participants of the forum that the dialogue has been established in memory of and to maintain the legacy of the late Prof. Calestous who was a co-chair of the AU High Level Panel on Emerging Technologies until his passing last year.
According to Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor, AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, the late Prof. Calestous, who was a Kenyan by citizenship, a Harvard Kennedy School Professor, was an internationally recognised authority in the application of science and technology to sustainable development worldwide. He was named one of the most influential 100 Africans in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the New African magazine.
“Calestous Juma Dialogue on Innovation and Emerging Technologies” was launched today at the opening of the three-day Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) -2018, which has brought together over 3 000 researchers, scientists, policy-makers and students from all over the world kicks off today in Pretoria