The First Extraordinary Summit of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government Championing Education, Science and Technology (C10) was held on the 2nd and 3rd of Novemeber 2018 in Lilongwe, Malawi. The C10 is a group of 10 African presidents that have set their mission as empowering their contries through STEM and innovation. They beleive that Africa’s fate lies in its ability to use technology for economic, social and human development.
• African Union Heads of State and Government championing Education Science and Technology (Namibia, Malawi, Mauritius, Kenya, Tunisia, Egypt, Gabon, Chad, Sierra Leone, Senegal)
• Ministers of Education, Science and Technology of C10 Member States;
• Bureau of the Specialized Technical Committee on Education, Science and Technology;
• African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson;
• AUC Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology (HRST)
• Senior Government Officials;
• HRST staff;
• AUC Partners;
– To agree on strategies to promote Education, Science and Technology in Africa;
– To consider reports on the implementation of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA16-25), the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024), and the TVET Continental Strategy towards attaining the aspirations of Agenda 2063, in order to determine championship interventions;
– To propose mechanisms for enhanced investment in Education, Science and Technology in order to raise Africa’s knowledge based economic growth.
The First Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government (C10) Championing Education, Science and Technology in Africa kicked off on the 2nd of November 2018 at the Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe, under the theme” Strengthening Education, Science, Technology and Innovation for Africa’s Development”.
President of the Republic of Malawi, H.E Prof Arthur Mutharika officiated at the opening ceremony of the Summit, which was attended by H.E. Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia, Prime Minister of the Republic of Senegal H.E. Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne, H.E. Prof Sarah Anyang Agbor Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology (HRST), among other high profile government representatives.
H.E Prof Arthur Mutharika welcomed the participants on behalf of the people and Government of Malawi for the first ever summit of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government (C10) Championing Education, Science and Technology and reiterated the important mission of the Summit on the continent saying “For Africa to develop, we need the right education and skills in science and technology”. H.E Prof Arthur Mutharika also underlined the importance of sustainable financing in education.
The Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, H.E. Prof Sarah Anyang Agbor thanked the people of Malawi and H.E. President Arthur Peter Mutharika for the African hospitality and described the Summit as an opportunity to reflect on what has to be amplified at the highest policy levels to foreground AU Member States commitments. She further underlined the importance to explore opportunities of enhancing investments through increased mobilization of resources. “It is important that we commit sufficient resources and adopt multi-sectorial approaches which are essential to realizing the aspirations of Agenda 2063 and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals” reiterated Prof Sarah Anyang Agbor.
H.E Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor elaborated on the policy interventions and strategies developed by the African Union that would strengthen outcomes in Education, Science and Technology and Innovation in Member States. These strategies include: Continental Strategy for Technical, Vocational, Education and training (TVET) to foster Youth employment; Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025 (CESA 16-25) to provide the Continent with efficient human resources adapted to African core values and promote sustainable development at the national, sub regional, and continental levels; and the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA- 2024) aimed at fostering social transformation and economic competitiveness through human capital development, innovation, value addition, industrialization and entrepreneurship.
In her keynote address, the Commissioner reiterated that collective commitment must be followed by concrete actions to strengthen Education, Science, Technology and Innovation for the development of Africa’s citizens. Prof Sarah Anyang Agbor stressed the focus on results, implementation and measurable targets and underlined the commitment of the AU Commission in providing leadership towards this end. She further encouraged all other Member States to rededicate their efforts towards actions that will strengthen Education, Science and Technology outcomes in Africa.
H.E. Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia in his opening remarks underscored the need for sustainable education and equitable access to education in all levels. “We recognize the importance to lay proper foundation for education” added the President of Namibia. He also highlighted the importance to invest in talent management and research infrastructure.
During the opening ceremony, Prime Minister of Senegal, Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne noted the importance of a clear strategy to promote Education, Science, Technology and Innovation across Africa and measures in line with Agenda 2063 towards the Africa we want. Making reference to both Kwame Nkrumah and Cheikh Anta Diop, he underscored the necessity for the African Youth to master Science and Technology to develop the continent. In his opinion, the development of the continent will derive from economic structural transformation led by a learning society and innovation-led economy. The Prime Minister of Senegal expressed the need for educated population that understands Science, Technology and Education to renew the industrialization process and free the continent from poverty. He also expressed the need for Africa to contribute to global scientific evolution because of its invaluable potential. He concluded by urging African Governments to fund the education systems and saying that Africa needs to invest in Science and Technology and to translate these ambitious to reality.
At the end of the Session, the Summit adopted the Lilongwe Declaration.
The other outcomes of the First Extraordinary Session of the Summit of Heads of States and Government championing Education, Science and Technology include the report and the plan of action to be presented at the next AU Summit of Heads of State and Government.
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