An alliance seeking to boost African industrialization and development has been launched.
The alliance, dubbed Africa STEM Alliance (ASA) was launched at the World Economic Forum 2018,
Speaking at the forum Mauritius President Mrs. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim has called for increased investment in science and technology to shape a new future for Africa.
The ASA will be structured around three pillars. The first priority is to work with partners to develop more scientific and engineering talent. The deepening and growth of Africa’s STEM industry, supported by effective R&D public-private partnerships, is the second focus; on that front, the objective is to offer African young people opportunities at home once they are graduates and stop the brain drain, while encouraging local innovation for the benefit of African economies. Finally, the ASA will serve as platform to mobilize governments, donors and multinationals to improve investment in African research, expertise centers and major tech and skill intensive industrial projects.
Launched with the support of the AfroChampions Initiative, this project aims to strengthen African knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, to create a stronger ecosystem of tech and industrial players capable of accelerating Africa’s development.
“The rationale behind the creation of the ASA is twofold. First and foremost, we must quickly close the African technical and scientific gap, otherwise our continent will no longer be able to successfully compete with other regions in the world. Then, and most importantly, we must build on our successes to date to leverage promising economic sectors. Fintech solutions in Kenya or Nigeria, drug production capabilities in South Africa, renewable training centers in Zambia or Burkina Faso bring unquestionable evidence that Africans can succeed in STEM. What we need is a clear ambition across the continent to multiply these initiatives – and make Africa attractive again for our youth.” Said the president.
The ASA’s 2018 agenda will focus on a major advocacy and fundraising campaign to support ASA-qualified projects. Her Excellency Mrs. Gurib-Fakim has started initial consultations to identify, with African delegations, first projects eligible for the ASA label, and to invite companies and recognized experts to join the council of the alliance which will be presented by end March 2018.
Present at the launch was the Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group Mr. Gopichand P Hinduja, President Alpha Conde of the Republic of Guinea, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Hassan Ali Khayre, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia as well as Ministers and officials from Angola, Rwanda and South Africa.
Mr Hinduja highlighted the Hinduja Group’s long association and continued commitment to Africa highlighting the Continent’s real potential for expansion and growth in the years ahead.
“Industrialization is the challenge of Africa. We need to create tools to advance Africa and make it a driver of global growth, including creating African industrial champions”. He also stressed that the ASA would bring “unique opportunities in terms of cross-country and regional cooperation, particularly between emerging regions”.Special Advisor to the AfroChampions Initiative, Mr. Edem Adzogenu said. The ASA brings together industry representatives and corporations, public and private donors and investors, governments, education organizations, research and R&D centers; by mobilizing African and foreign expertise, the ASA seeks to accelerate the creation of a genuine STEM ecosystem on the continent. One of the flagships projects is the creation of a STEM fund to support R&D commercialization and STEM start-ups.
The Hinduja Group (www.hindujagroup.com) is India’s foremost privately-owned Group, with a global footprint across 100 countries employing over 120,000 people. Founded in 1914 in Mumbai by Parmanand D Hinduja, today the management, future strategy and focus of the Group is managed by Parmanand’s four sons Srichand, Chairman, Gopichand, Prakash and Ashok and the younger generation. With a century of experience, intelligent investment and disciplined growth, the Group has become an international multibillion Group active in ten business sectors encompassing Automotive, Energy, Banking, IT, power generation, Real Estate, Project Development, Media, Healthcare and trading.