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UNESCO'S contribution to Africa's plan for science and technology to 2010


Foreword (on the right)

Biodiversity, Biotechnology and Indigenous Knowledge (p 2-6)
Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity
Safe development and application of biotechnology
Securing and using Africa's indigenous knowledge

Energy, Water and Desertification (p 7-14)
Building a sustainable energy base
Securing and sustaining water
Combating drought and desertification

Information and Communication Technologies and Space Science and Technologies (p 15-18)
Information and communication technologies
Establishing the African Institute of Space Science

Improving Policy Conditions and Building Innovation Mechanisms (p 19-25)
African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators Initiative
Improving regional cooperation in science and technology
Building a public understanding of science and technology
Building science and technology policy capacity

Annexes (p 26-28)
Annex I: Microbial Resource Centres in Africa
Annex II: UNESCO Chairs in Science and Technology in Africa
Annex III: World Heritage Sites in Africa
Annex IV: Biosphere Reserves in Africa

Contributing to Africa?s Plan for S&T to 2010
Read the brochure



The theme of the upcoming Summit of the African Union in 2007 is science, technology and research for Africa's socio-economic development. This choice undoubtedly reflects the growing realization that science, technology and innovation are central to economic prosperity and to reaching the international development goals in such areas as food security, disease control, access to clean water and environmental sustainability.

Elaborated in 2005 by the African Union and its New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), Africa's Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action is the fruit of a continent-wide consultation; it creates a roadmap for international and regional cooperation in science and technology over the next five years.

UNESCO has accompanied this exciting new initiative, first by assisting in the initial elaboration of Africa's strategy for science and technology, then by co-organizing the First African Ministerial Conference on Science and Technology in Nairobi in 2003 and throwing its support behind the Second Ministerial Conference on the same theme in 2005. To ensure a coherent approach among United Nations agencies, UNESCO also held a meeting in June 2006 to prepare with its sister agencies for the African Union Summit in 2007.

If the structure of the present brochure mirrors that of Africa's Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action, it is no coincidence. At the dawn of what promises to be a new era for science in Africa, the brochure you are about to read provides a 'menu' of UNESCO programmes which echo the objectives of the Plan of Action. Although a non-exhaustive list, the activities on the following pages give a foretaste of the ways in which UNESCO can lend its support to NEPAD.

Walter Erdelen
Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences

November 2006










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Updated: 13/08/2007