Investment : Africa must embrace Science and Innovation for its development

At the recent 2024 African Business Forum in Addis Ababa, Claver Gatete, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), emphasized the urgent need for African countries to invest heavily in science, technology, and innovation (STI) to fully realize their potential. Gatete stressed that this initiative is essential for the African continent to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and its Agenda 2063 aspirations.

By the editorial staff

According to Gatete, Africa cannot materialize the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) without a serious commitment to STI. Therefore, he, during the recent 2024 African Business Forum in Addis Ababa, called on African governments to modernize their educational systems and intensify their efforts in research and development.

Only 50% of African countries integrate STI into their school curriculum

Presently, the continent faces significant gaps in digital skills, data generation, and utilization of the digital economy, with only 50% of African countries incorporating these skills into their educational programs and 75% of African youth lacking the necessary digital skills for full engagement in the digital economy.

The African Business Forum, focused on accelerating Africa’s transformation through education, science, technology, and innovation, brought together experts from across the continent. They underscored the importance for Africa to capitalize on STI to address its multiple vulnerabilities, boost economic growth, and confront the challenges of climate change.

Despite progress in the field of STI, experts highlighted significant challenges persist in bridging the scientific and technological gap between developed countries and Africa. The unequal distribution of scientific capacities and limited access to knowledge threaten to compromise the achievement of the goal of leaving no one behind, a central promise of the SDGs synonymous with transformation.

Investment in science, technology, and innovation now emerges as an imperative for Africa to seize development opportunities and enhance its competitiveness on the global stage.

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