Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi attended on Saturday the third edition of the Africa Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (Africa STI Forum) held in Cairo from 10 to 12 February.
Egypt's Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar said in a speech that the summit aims to boost investment in the field of higher education and scientific research as a step towards realising a knowledge-based economy and maximising the benefit of African resources.
The forum, organised by Egypt's Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and co-organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB), is being attended by 35 African ministers of higher education, sciences, technology, innovation, scientific research, as well as scientists and inventors, mostly youth.
Abdel-Ghaffar predicted that the summit would lead to several resolutions, including setting frameworks that aim to enhance knowledge in the fields of science and technology in the African continent, and raising awareness over the role of technology, innovation and science while contributing to the competitiveness of the private sector in Africa by bolstering partnerships between the public and private sectors in specified fields.
Head of the AfDB Akinwumi Adesina said in a speech that President El-Sisi's inauguration of the summit proves the importance given to technology and innovation.
Adesina also said that the AfDB has allocated a $500 million loan for several projects in Egypt, including $400 million for the private sector to bolster job opportunities and support for various projects related to water in Africa.
Adesina added that Africa should exert more effort to not remain behind in the field of technology, affirming the importance of supporting education for girls and providing equal opportunities for women in the field of engineering, as well as spreading a culture of innovation and creativity.
According to the AfDB website, the third edition of the Africa STI Forum emphasises the importance of research to foster innovation and exploitable goods and services, focusing on the private sector in five areas: climate change, nutrition, water, ICT and pharmaceuticals. These areas were selected as they offer tangible opportunities for economic transformation in Africa.