On 4 May Jean-Eric Paquet, Director-General at DG Research and Innovation, together with Marjeta Jager, Deputy Director General at DG International Partnerships, opened a kick-off event and launched the Advisory Group.
Maria Cristina Russo, Director Global Approach & International Partnerships in DG Research and Innovation moderated and welcomed the group of six high-level experts from Africa and Europe who will assist the European Commission with advice on how to best boost the potential of research and innovation for Africa-Europe cooperation.
Closing remarks were made by Birgitte Markussen, Ambassador of the European Union to the African Union and Carla Montesi, Director Green Deal and Digital Agenda at DG International Partnerships.
From capacity building to innovation uptake, the experts cover a wide range of crosscutting themes within the four thematic pillars of:
EU-Africa stepped up cooperation in research and innovation for empowered public health systems;
How to strengthen research and innovation capacities in Africa focusing on both regional and bilateral cooperation;
Innovation and technology revolution;
Green Transition in Africa.
The group will work until October 2021 and present four evidence-based policy papers showcasing recommendations on how to improve research and innovation strategies as part of a positive agenda between Africa and Europe. Anticipated short-term results include an improved understanding of future demands of science, technology and innovation to the AU-EU Strategy and appropriate instruments to be used as well as an improved dialogue between AU and EU policy makers in the context of political priorities.
The kick-off event is only the start of a series of events to enable a lively exchange between policy makers from across the European Commission, African Union Commission and the experts and their team.
Research and innovation undoubtedly carries our societies forward and ensuring that this progress is achieved fairly is critical; the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of collective progress better than ever. Strengthening the ties between the European Union and the African Union in this aspect marks the beginning of a more prosperous partnership that will hopefully help develop new technologies to benefit our lives in every area. ECOPNET (European Cooperation and Partnership Network) hopes and works to ensure that these connections are made with more groups globally and benefits the world as a whole.
Experts in the EU-Africa Advisory Group on Research and Innovation
Anneline Morgan – Senior public policy maker and implementer, vast experience in international cooperation in research and innovation at national, regional, continental and international level.
Daniel Nahon – Emeritus professor, geologist/geochemist with great experience in Africa, founder and director of CEREGE, founder of a national TECHNOPOLE on environmental sciences and risks.
Prof. Sonia Abdelhak – Senior biologist at Institut Pasteur de Tunis, head of a research laboratory on biomedical genomics and oncogenetics, chairwoman of the Association of sustainable development, Research in Action.
Prof. Marleen Temmerman – Professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, director Aga Khan University, Nairobi, Kenya and UNESCO-Chair Health and Education, Former WHO Director.
Samir Abdelkrim – Author, entrepreneur and former columnist for major international journals. He is the French expert on African innovation and organiser of Emerging Valley, a hub for emerging innovation between Africa and Europe.
Bosun Tijani – Nigerian-British entrepreneur and co-founder and CEO of Co-Creation Hub; a pan-African innovation enabler that works for accelerating the application of innovation and social capital.
Source: European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation News Corner