The Meeting of Senior Experts of the First Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Education Science and Technology (EST) has begun at the AU Commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Scores of participants including experts, Senior Education, Science and Technology Officials from AU Member States, and representatives of Regional Economic Communities are participating in the meeting. Officials representing a cross section of Development Partners are also attending as observers.
The meeting’s opening ceremony sent a clear call that education, Science and Technology sectors go hand in hand and should effectively drive Africa’s social and economic development and accelerate the transition of African countries to innovation-led, knowledge-based economies.
Addressing the meeting’s opening ceremony, the Acting Director of Human Resources, Science and Technology, Dr. Mahama Ouedraogo, emphasized the importance of the STC meeting, saying it has a huge responsibility of engaging with the various departments of the Commission and ensuring that quality information on pertinent issues and initiatives is made available to the Executive Council. He added that the STC is expected to monitor program development and implementation by the RECs to ensure a holistic and collective approach towards the achievement of the continent’s socio-economic growth and advancement.
Dr. Mahama further spoke on the ideals of the African Agenda 2063, highlighting its component’s of Science, Technology and Innovation as some of the major drivers and enablers of the African Union’s developmental goals. He therefore underscored the need to aggressively promote science, technology, research and innovation, with the ultimate aim of building knowledge, human resource capabilities and skills for Africa’s future.
The representative of the outgoing COMEDAF VI Chair Dr. Njikam Theodore of Cameroon, underlined the need to pay attention to Science, Technology and Innovation as key pillars for national, regional and continental development, a position reiterated by the representative of the AMCOST V First Vice Chair, Mr. John Sefani of Namibia.
The meeting is expected to result in the election of a new Ministerial Bureau for the running of the STC in the next two years, discussions on AU summit decisions relevant to the conduct of education, Science and Technology on the continent, consideration of a number of strategies including the newly developed Continental Education Strategy (CESA 16-25), and TVET, among others. There is an exhibition on TVET and Space Sciences. The meeting will also feature a Partners session, and a Pan African Conference on Teacher Development. It will culminate in the Meeting of Ministers on Friday, 30th October, when it is expected to wrap up.
Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).