Monday, February 26, 2018

ICTs important for Africa’s development initiatives

Without Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Africa cannot make its own development programs. ICT has become an important tool for the entire development in Africa’s continent. The innovations which are coming up in today’s world have manifested itself in such a manner that governments take the necessary steps for guidance towards development. In view of this, reforms are needed in order to cope with the national science, technology and innovation policies so as to enhance development that drives progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is crucial. According to the study, Africa Beyond 2030: Leveraging Science and Innovation to Secure SDGs, is based on extensive literature review, surveys and interviews with scientists, policymakers and development partners between 2016 and 2017. It further details specific policy measures that countries must take individually and collectively to leverage Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to achieve the SDGs. In the past, STI policies have been criticised for short changing monitoring and evaluation frameworks and budgets and failing to incorporate national strategies on sustainable development. These may have resulted in weak government capacity and poor public understanding and ownership. The new study calls for harnessing STI to achieve SDGs and requires policy reform supported by strong budgets, skilled personnel and a legislative monitoring and evaluation component to assess impact. Executive Director of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), Professor Nelson Torto, said there was need to bring science and technology to bear on sustainable development priorities to ensure a long term and intergenerational solution driven agenda for eradicating poverty and improving lives of African people. Prof Torto said the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015. The 17 SDGs are based on ending poverty, promoting equality and equitable access to global resources and tackling climate change. The AAS’ Policy and Strategy Manager, Evelyn Namubiru- Mwaura, said the existence of the STI policies demonstrate a political will to advance the sector there, it also shows a dual commitment to achieve SDGs.

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