2007/08/08 18:35 Barfour Adjei-Barwuah, "Strengthening Strategic Alliances ... Science, Technology and Engineering Cooperation"

2007/08/08 18:35 Barfour Adjei-Barwuah, "Strengthening Strategic Alliances through Science, Technology and Engineering Cooperation: implementing the Africa's Science and Technology Plan of Action", ISSS Tokyo 2007

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Barfour Adjei-Barwuah, Ghanian Ambassador to Japan

Barfour Adjei-Barwuah

Standing in for the African Union, an awesome responsibility

Moving to global economy

  • Also intellectual property rights, nation states, guarding national borders
  • Individual has to propel international technology

Have to balance propensity to network, while still have maintaining nation states

Linkage between Europe and Asia

  • Africa is looking to tap into this
  • Difficult because Africa is 53 different countries, different environments, 50 different languages
  • A single way forward is daunting
  • If we don't do this, we will be left behind
  • We have been a developing country for 30 years, and stagnation could sustain
  • Have to catch up

Catching up of African Union, thorugh New Parntership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)

  • A consolidated science and technology plan of action
  • Capacity building of human capital
  • Need technological innovation
  • Knowledge production between industry and universities
  • Integration of the world economy, we have to accept, even if we don't like it

Common vision --> objectives <-- principles --> criteria

  • Sparse population, mostly poor
  • Have energy problems:  blip affects country, plus two other countries who receive exports
    • Ghana has oil, but the management of that is a problem
  • Also water issues:  impacts health, quality of life
  • Need to forge relationships between universities, research and development, through industrial parks where they can apply the money

Within the union, need to create new policy conditions

Trying to get to a relationship / synergy between what we can do as individuals, as users, as a continent

  • Partnerships, at a continental level, have problems with language: English, Arabic, French, Italian
  • Need to have an attractive environment
  • When independence was started in Ghana duirng the cold war, depends on how perceived by the big powers
  • Seem to be going back to the 1950s, in political influences

More than half of population is under age 18

  • Projections need to be at least 50 years, because individuals are living longer
  • Job opportunities will be related to science
  • Human resources, welfare, quality of work life all related to jobs

Implementing the technological plan, happens at the inter-regional level, and with international cooperation

Inter-regional networks

  • Institutional arrangements will always be a challenge
  • Overall governance
  • Bring in Africa Ministerial Council S&T
  • Steering committee to manage
  • AU commission's responsibilities

International Cooperation

  • NEPAD needs to be accredited
  • Technical and financial mechanisms, can't fund everything
  • Partnership for implementation: so far, no partnerships of equals
    • Constantly falling behind
  • Spearhead by networks of centers of excellence
  • Want to promote tight relationships between institutions and those elsewhere

Looking at benefit, flows have to be two ways

  • Develop knowledge, expertise
  • In Ghana, have to constitute advantageous materials, need to turn into assets

African union

  • One hat
  • Somewhere along the line, people will recognize that need to be able sit on their front porch and get online


Handling instability in Africa?

  • Have to heed AU
  • Most of the time, the instability has been promoted from external sources
  • Aside from South Africa, no African countries manufacture arms
  • Definitions are different:  heavy vegetation called jungle, versus calling it woods, makes things difficult
  • In Africa, people don't mind being called Africans; compared to Europeans

Civil society role?

  • Civil society in advanced countries could get governments to look at the new Africa, and find ways to support it
  • Science and technology drives all of us, and that's what we're currently short of
  • At some time, civil society will make the argument that $15B to buy is not as good as $15B to build something