AU launches Innovation and Emerging Technologies Dialogue

The AU dialogue has been established in memory of and to maintain the legacy of the late Harvard Kennedy School Professor Calestous Juma (Photo: The Harvard Gazette)


The African Union on 12 December 2018 announced the launching of “Innovation and Emerging Technologies Dialogue” by its High Level Panel and the NEPAD Agency.


Announced during the 2018 Science Forum South Africa, which took place from 12 – 14 December in Pretoria, the newly launched initiative named the “Calestous Juma Dialogue on Innovation and Emerging Technologies” has an ultimate goal of developing a culture of science and technology among Africans.


According to Prof. Berhanu Abegaz, an eminent Ethiopian chemist and scholar, the Calestous Juma Dialogue is a comprehensive package that provides a platform for knowledge and experience sharing and capacity strengthening.


Speaking at the SFSA 2018, he indicated that the initiative is “An executive dialogue and short courses on innovation and emerging technologies, a component that delivers capacity building in STEM pedagogy using formal and informal methods to youth, teacher trainers, teacher deployed in the field , and education practitioners, to enable them adopt STEM-responsive teaching methodologies.”


It also focuses on capacity building in entrepreneurial and life skills for youth engaged in small and medium ICT businesses, awards and prizes for youth involved in science, technology and innovation as well as organize science fairs in collaboration with schools.

Prof. Berhanu told participants of the forum that the dialogue has been established in memory of and to maintain the legacy of the late Prof. Calestous who was a co-chair of the AU High Level Panel on Emerging Technologies until his passing last year.


According to Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor, AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, the late Prof. Calestous, who was a Kenyan by citizenship, a Harvard Kennedy School Professor, was an internationally recognised authority in the application of science and technology to sustainable development worldwide.


He was named one of the most influential 100 Africans in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the New African magazine.


“Calestous Juma Dialogue on Innovation and Emerging Technologies” was launched today at the opening of the three-day Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) -2018, which has brought together over 3 000 researchers, scientists, policy-makers and students from all over the world kicks off today in Pretoria


By Mekonnen Teshome

(Mekonnen Teshome is an Ethiopian Science journalist who has practiced Science Journalism for over a decade. He received various trainings in reporting Science, Health and Climate Change. Prior specializing science writing, he had served various print and broadcast media houses both based in Ethiopia and abroad. Currently, he freelances for science based media outlets in Ethiopia, India, Sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere.)




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