Time for the African Technology Policy Studies (ATPS) indaba in Addis, Ackel Zwane, Swazi Observer Newspaper Group, 11 August 2012

11 Aug

The quadruple challenges of imploding economies, deepening and widening poverty climate change, and disappearing environmental assets (natural resources and biodiversity) around the world necessitate a careful rethinking of knowledge platforms and development pathways at global, continental and national scales.
With the recent global financial crisis and deepening social and environmental crisis in the past decade, science experts and policymakers alike are united in the search for alternative development paradigms. Major global policy support institutions such as the World Bank (WB), the United Nations (UN), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) amongst others, now sing the same song “there is need for new paradigms and pathways for economic growth that is inclusive of social and environmental sustainability”.
A recent report launched by the World Bank (2012) aptly concludes that, “inclusive green growth is necessary, efficient and affordable,…, the search for solutions needs to shift from the search for more financial resources, to “getting smart”. In the same vein, the recent Global Green Growth Summit held in South Korea, re-echoed the collective voice of global leaders that “technological innovations will be central to the creation of a new and more sustainable development paradigm”.
Many global assessments and reports now converge in the conclusion that having the right kind of science, technologies and innovations is at the heart of sustainable development (UNESCO, 2010, UNEP 2011, UNDP 2012, UNCTAD 2012, World Bank 2012). Be it the first and second carbon intensive industrial revolutions which are now foundering or the third industrial revolution which is now evolving under different nomenclatures (Green Economy, green growth, inclusive growth, climate resilient economy, low carbon economy, etc.), STI has remained the constant driver of productivity and efficiency gains in economic development history.
In June 2012, world leaders, the academia, the private sector actors and the civilsociety convened in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Reconnaissance surveys in Africa suggested that 20 years after the first Rio conference, stakeholders’ expected more proactive and practical actions in addressing poverty, hunger, energy access, energy security, efficient and sustainable resource use and ecosystem management, improved agricultural value chain management, etc. The general feeling amongst policymakers and policy analysts consulted was that the global governance architectures be it in the socio-political, economic or environmental realms still leaves Africa disadvantaged in many ways. This is largely due to lack of political will to implement negotiated agreements and international commitments; global mechanisms and institutions that favour binomial relationships between the global north and the global south with knowledge, technologies and innovations predominantly flowing from the former to the latter; and general inequities in the distribution of skills and capacities for innovation and wealth creation.
The ministers of African States have, therefore, aptly noted that the critical foundation for sustainable development must include more inclusive global governance; strong and responsive pro-poor institutions for wealth creation, social equity and equality; poverty eradication and environmental sustainability as well as sustained progress in the achievement of internationally agreed commitments including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


Call for Papers: ATPS Annual Conference 2012


Date: 18th-24th November, 2012

Venue: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Conference Sub Themes and Call for Papers

Five inter-related priority subthemes have been identified through a participatory stakeholder consultation exercise which commenced at the ATPS Annual General Meeting in November 2011 (for details see ), and culminated in an expert consultative workshop held in Naivasha, Kenya in May 2012 (for details see ).

Read more at Swazi Observer Newspaper Group, Weekend Observer

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Posted by on August 11, 2012 in Uncategorized


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