Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Summit

15-17 June 2021


AERAP will organise the “Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Summit” from the 15th to 17th June 2021. The June Summit will enhance science and innovation cooperation between Africa and Europe and build on key policy and programme initiatives to establish a more enabling environment for science and innovation policy codesign, programme cooperation and capacity building.

AERAP responds to the European Parliament Written Declaration 45 on Science Capacity Building in Africa. This call was repeated by the Heads of State of the African Union through their Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.407 CXVIII. AERAP encourages policymakers to understand the need for an enabling policy and regulatory environment for science cooperation with Africa and championing leadership in both Africa and Europe to demonstrate science’s contribution to society.

The June 2021 Summit will draw on a range of processes, including AGENDA 2063 , Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse; the AU Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA-2024); the European Commission; Communication Towards a Comprehensive Strategy with Africa which foresees future cooperation built on five partnerships: green transition, digital transformation, growth and jobs, peace and governance and migration and mobility. All of these areas will rely on science and innovation cooperation to become a reality.

More recently, the Strategic Plan 2020-24 – Research and Innovation of the European Commission stresses the importance of International STI Cooperation. The plan highlights the importance of collaborative research and innovation initiatives, including targeted initiatives and projects with partners from key third countries and regions in strategic areas of mutual benefit under all clusters, including the Horizon Europe Missions and the European Partnerships. The June meeting will examine how this and other aspects of the strategic plan applies to Africa.

The AERAP June summit will promote discussion on advancing synergies between Horizon Europe and Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) and other support measures while recognising the opportunities for cooperation presented by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Moreover, a particular focus will be placed on the private sector support for innovation in Africa. Development financing will also be discussed with representatives from the African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank, and others. Given the global nature of science, multilateralism will be an essential backdrop to the discussions in June.

The meeting will address a range of themes, including Health, Medicine, Life Sciences, Geoscience, ICT, Digital Transformation, the Green Agenda and Biodiversity, Women and Girls in science, Astronomy, reskilling and upskilling and Agri-food systems, amongst others. Regarding regulation, the meeting will consider how emerging regulations in data protection, medical devices, in-vitro diagnostics, and other areas, do not become a barrier to science and innovation cooperation between Africa and the European Union.

Selected confirmed speakers include:

Manuel Heitor Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Portugal

M. Cristina Messa Minister for Universities and Research, Italy

Karina Angelieva Deputy Minister for Education and Science, Bulgaria

Blade Nzimande Minister for Science and Technology, South Africa

Abraham Belay Minister for Innovation and Technology, Ethiopia

Petr Očko Minister for Science and Innovation, Czech Republic

Daniel Daniel Nivagara Minister for Science and Education, Mozambique

Olfa Benouda Sioud Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, Tunisia

Radovan Fuchs Minister of Science and Education, Croatia

Intisar El-Zein Soughayroun Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, Sudan

Mirjana Pović Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI), Ethiopia

Carlos Zorrinho MEP, Chair, Africa Caribbean Pacific Parliamentary Assembly, Belgium

Marialuisa Lavitrano European Open Science Cloud, Italy

Kwaku Afriyie Ministry of the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ghana

Kurt Zatloukal Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure, BBMRI, Austria

Phil Diamond Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope, United Kingdom

Michale Makanga European Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) South Africa

Juan Miguel González-Aranda LifeWatch ERIC, Spain

David McNair ONE Foundation, Belgium

Jean Pierre Bourguignon, President, European Research Council (ERC), Belgium

Lora Borissova Cabinet Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Belgium

Immaculate Kassit Data Protection Commissioner, Kenya

Doreen Bogden United Nations International Telecommunications Union, Switzerland

Robert Eiss National Institutes for Health, USA

Simonetta Di Pippo United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, Austria

Andy Zinga EIT Food, Belgium

Valentine Uwamariya Minister of Science, Rwanda

Kenneth Fleming The Lancet, United Kingdom