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AU-EU Summit 17-18 February 2022: A Science Agenda

The AERAP Africa-Europe Science Collaboration Platform will organise side events at the AU-EU Summit on 14-18 February 2022. The purpose of the meeting will be to promote awareness of the contribution of collaborative research and development as a critical aspect of EU-Africa relations and collaborations, in particular in addressing global challenges together.

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Friday, February 18 • 10:00 - 11:30
(Ref 141400) A skills agenda for Innovation in Africa: Skills, reskilling and upskilling - convened by SARAO and Innopharma Global

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The digitisation of the economy, as well as of the whole society, is changing the way we work, learn and lead our everyday lives. Digital transformation, along with market globalisation and demographic change, are dominating a profound transformation which will result in a major swift of the labour market, and the way people work. This paradigm shift represents a critical challenge for employers, workers, investors and public authorities, and the challenge needs to be fully understood and embraced in order to identify the most appropriate policy options to transform them into opportunities for all.

Although it remains crucial to develop a range of specific digital skills which respond to the needs of the digital economy, wider skills for the whole population should be embedded in a broader and comprehensive skills strategy in which other transversal skills relevant to employers such as entrepreneurial skills, communication skills, critical thinking and active citizenship, are also included. Evidence shows that the most effective means of improving employability and closing skills gaps are more generic measures aimed at improving the capacity of workers to acquire new skills and learn in an evolving economy and society. Skills and lifelong learning are crucial for long-term and sustainable growth, productivity and innovation and therefore a key factor for the competitiveness of businesses of all sizes. Providing people with the right skills allows them to work more effectively and take advantage of advanced technologies [1], eliminates the major obstacle identified to business investment [2], prevents labour market mismatches [3] reduces the risks of social and economic inequalities, contributing to high levels of social discontent, exclusion and poverty and [4], lays the ground for research and development (R&D) and firm-based innovation.

In order to respond effectively to the demands of a changing society and labour market, focus has to be put on synergies between education, research, innovation and employment, creating links between higher education institutions and industry groups in order to identify their current and future skills needs, encompassing not only technical but transversal and cognitive skills. This skills assessment strategy has to reflect the local environment and the variegated realities of the African continent in order to be effective and representative of committed action. 

In addition, strong connections within the education sector and Government agencies will ensure engagement from all stakeholders as partners in their up/re-skilling development initiatives.
Finally, designing a digital and a broader skills strategy or any other type of initiative to help all stakeholders to access the required skills, diversity needs to be clearly addressed through a tailored approach.

avatar for Rita Lawlor

Rita Lawlor

Biobank Director, ARC-Net, University of Verona
Rita T. Lawlor is associate professor in the Department of Diagnostics and Public Health and a fellow of Information Privacy from IAPP (International Association of Privacy Professionals). Rita is originally a Computer Science graduate with a doctorate in translational biomedical... Read More →
avatar for Ian Jones

Ian Jones

CEO and President, InnoGlobal
Founder and CEO of Innopharma Group, IrelandProfessor Ian Jones is the CEO and President of Innopharma Group – an Education and Technology Institute. He has worked for the past 25 years supporting high-tech manufacturing (particularly Digital, (Bio)pharma and Agri/FoodTech) where... Read More →
avatar for Michael Makanga

Michael Makanga

Executive Director, EDCTP - Association
Dr. Michael Makanga, MD PhD FRCP: EDCTP Executive Director.Dr. Makanga is a clinician-scientist with 27 years of professional experience of working on health and poverty-related infectious diseases in Africa. This includes 23 years of work experience on medical product development... Read More →
avatar for Mammo Muchie

Mammo Muchie

Rated Research Professor, Tshwane University of Technology
Mammo Muchie received his primary and secondary education at St. John Elementary School and Fassildes High School [Gondar] respectively. Mammo topped the World Youth Forum Competition and was invited to USA in 1968 for pursuing high school education. Subsequently, he studied at DWhite... Read More →
avatar for Mmampei Chaba

Mmampei Chaba

Chief Director for Multilateral and Africa engagements, DSI
Ms Mmampei Chaba is currently Chief Director responsible for Multilateral and Africa engagements within DST and has been in this position for 4,5 years. This includes the global multilateral Science, Technology and Innovation organisations such as the UN organisations, the OECD, and... Read More →
avatar for Hambani Masheleni

Hambani Masheleni

A.g. Director, Department of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, African Union Commission
Mr. Hambani MasheleniA.g. Director, Department of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation , African Union CommissionMr. Hambani Masheleni is a holder of an MSc Applied Physics and BSc Physics Honours degrees. He has a broad range of training and work experience in public sector... Read More →
avatar for Carla Sharpe

Carla Sharpe

Africa Programme Manager, SARAO
Carla has been with the South African Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project for several years. The SKA is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, the sheer scale of the SKA represents a huge leap forward in engineering, technology and research & development... Read More →
avatar for Daniela Angione

Daniela Angione

Innopharma Technology Ltd
Daniela holds a MSc in Chemistry and a PhD in Chemistry of Materials from the University of Bari (Italy). Following her PhD she was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship that she carried out at the University of Manchester (UK) and subsequently she moved to Trinity College Dublin (Ireland... Read More →

Friday February 18, 2022 10:00 - 11:30 CET