The 4th AERAP Africa-Europe Science Collaboration Forum, set to take place from April 22 to 25, 2024, embodies the spirit of the European Union’s Science and Development agendas and the collaborative ethos of the Team Europe initiative. This Forum is poised to serve as a dynamic platform, emphasising the critical role of science and digital innovation in shaping EU policies towards Africa and placing African scientific leadership at the centre of these, mirroring the synergistic approach that Team Europe champions. By fostering deeper engagements with policymakers and amplifying the impacts of scientific endeavours, the Forum seeks to enhance the inclusion of African stakeholders with European counterparts through strategic collaborations in science and innovation.
The Forum’s core objective is leveraging digital technologies to extend the scope of scientific collaboration and ensure inclusive participation across Africa. The agenda includes discussions on significant policy frameworks and strategic plans, such as the AU-EU Innovation Agenda, the AUC Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa (2020-2030), the EU Comprehensive Strategy with Africa, and key programmes and instruments, including Horizon Europe, FP10 and the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI). These dialogues aim to bolster sustainable development, healthcare, biodiversity, and digital advancements, resonating with the collaborative and unified approach foundational to Team Europe.
The Forum’s alignment with the broader EU Development Agenda underscores a commitment to sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa, in line with global development goals and the UN SDGs. It will explore a wide array of topics, from Astronomy to ICT and Environmental Sustainability, emphasising the intersection of science, education, and digital innovation funding. This comprehensive coverage will facilitate crucial policy insights, enhancing the Forum’s contribution to the Africa-EU partnership.