2013’s been an exciting year for us at the PEI. There’s undoubtedly a real sense of momentum building for expanding investment and interest in Africa’s science, technology and innovation agenda, and with so much going on we’ve certainly been kept on our toes. But as the year draws to a close, we want to look back and thank those who have made our work possible. Here’s our quick 2013 top ten moments:
1. Post 2015, science in Africa and getting ‘ready for a fight’: The inspiring adviser to the UN Secretary General, Amina J. Mohammed, issued a rallying cry that we would have a ‘fight on our hands’ to progress science and higher education in the Post 2015 agenda as she took the stage at our Conference at the African Union. So, who’s with us?!
2. Putting women at the centre of Africa’s science agenda: We’ve been honoured to work with some of the most pioneering women in this agenda this year, including H.E. Dr. Dlamini Zuma, Hon. Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as well as a host of great female academics across the world. Much more to come on this in 2014!
3. First #scienceAfrica UnConference: Over 120 people came together to look at some new projects in Africa and help raise the general awareness of science as something we can all be passionate about. Check out our round-up from the day here and get in touch about our follow up in 2014.
4. Giving Africa’s scientists a louder voice: Part of our charitable purpose to be a platform for African scientists. Watch some of our video interviews collected from across the continent about our vision and the steps needed to make empower science and technology in Africa.
5. Linking ICT, higher education and key industries: We all know the potential of the exciting ICT education tools now available. But so far Africa’s key industries – particularly extractives – and the higher education sector are missing out. Our new consultations interviewed and surveyed hundreds of academics and policy-makers in Africa to help map what needs to be done. And we’re now taking pilots ahead next year.
6. Advanced academic training in Angola: the academics at the heart of our first PhD Centre in Angola have now completed their extensive training programme with the fantastic team at Newcastle University and we are delighted to sign an MoU with the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
7. PhD Centre programme expands to Mozambique: We are delighted to now be working with the Ministry of Education on a strong Memorandum of Understanding to develop our second PhD Centre in Maputo, focused on public health.
8. Lessons from India: It was standing room only when our distinguished Global Scientific Committee member Prof. Mukesh Khare, who has been heavily involved in India’s approach to urbanisation, led an expert governmental seminar on the challenge of urbanisation across Angola’s cities, and it’s great to see the recommendations being taken forward.
9. Navigating the open-access debate in Africa: 100% of those involved in our academic publishing workshop viewed the open-access revolution as an opportunity not a threat, even in the wake of the fake journal article scandal, but training for academics in Africa was recognised as the larger barrier to getting published. We’ll be working with organisations on this in the coming year.
10. Launching our new online platform: Well, you’re here, so we hope you like it. The new site reflects that our vision – the scientific independence of Africa – is far bigger than just us. We want it to be a useful resource and tool for everyone working or interested in science in Africa. Whether it’s blogging for us, sharing your work or uploading your project to our #scienceAfrica map, we look forward to having you involved.
Thank you to all of those who have been part of this year, with special thanks to the African Union, the United Nations Commission for Africa, UN-DESA, UNEP, UNESCO, Banco Valor, Promethean, Elsevier, YooMee Africa, LSHTM, CTO, Newcastle University, Glasgow University, the Indian Institute of Technology, the British Embassy in Luanda, and many, many others. We will be doing even more in 2014!