Science, Technology & Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024) approved by African Heads of State

The 23rd Ordinary Session of the Summit of the African Union took place in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea from 26 - 27 June 2014, with the theme of "2014 Year of Agriculture and Food Security". The Summit's Assembly comprised of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

The AU Summit adopted a number of key decisions focused on enhancing the socio-economic and political development of the continent, particularly in the areas of education, health, agriculture, trade, women and youth development.

In April 2014, AMCOST (African Ministerial Conference on Science and Technology) had approved the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA-2024) and adopted that Statues to establish the African Scientific Research and Innovation Council (ASRIC), the African Observatory for Science, Technology and Innovation (AOSTI) and the Pan-African Intellectual Property Organisation (PAIPO). This facilitated the Strategy and Statues to be presented for adoption by African Heads of states at the AU summit in June 2014.

During the AU Summit, the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA-2024) was adopted as the continental framework for accelerating Africa's transition to an innovation-led, knowledge-based economy within the overall framework of the AU Agenda 2063. Member States are now encouraged to integrate it into their National STI Programmes.

Paul Cunningham of IST-Africa at the invitation of HRST, AUC had provided input into different versions of the STISA-2024 during the extensive consultation undertaken by HRST and NEPAD.

The Statute of the African Observatory on Science Technology and Innovation (AOSTI) was considered, with the Heads of State and Government calling upon Member States and Development Partners to provide the necessary technical and financial support to sustain the AOSTI. The Assembly, while recognizing ARIPO and OAPI as building blocks of the Pan African Intellectual Organization (PAIPO), welcomed and endorsed the offer of Tunisia to host the Headquarters and Secretariat of the PAIPO.

The Assembly underscored the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to Africa's development, particularly for youth empowerment, employment and entrepreneurship and adopted the ten-year AU Continental TVET Strategy.

The next AU Summit is scheduled to take place t the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 30-31 January 2014 under the theme: "Year of Women's Empowerment and Development towards Africa's Agenda 2063".