Participants will choose workshops topics of their choice, these workshops will be convene to take place during the first two days, and will be facillitated by experts in those topics by helping the groups to come up with innovative ideas for short and long-term development in a sustainable way.
Science and Technology:
According to the International Assessment of Agricultural science and Technology for Development (IAAST), agricultural science has focused on boosting production through the development of new technologies. It has achieved enormous yield gains as well as lower costs for large-scale farming. But this success has come at a high environmental cost. Furthermore, it has not solved the social and economic problems of the poor in developing countries, which have generally benefited the least from this boost in production. Today’s world is a place of uneven development, unsustainable use of natural resources, worsening impact of climate change, and continued poverty and malnutrition. Poor food quality and diets are partly responsible for the increase of chronic diseases like obesity and heart disease. Agriculture is closely linked to these concerns, including the loss of biodiversity, global warming and water availability.
The question is, how do Africa fundamentally rethink the role of agricultural knowledge, science and technology in achieving equitable development and sustainability.
Education is the key to any meaningful development and it´s generally viewed as crucial for rapid economic growth, and essential if governments wants to increase the productivity of the poor and providing people with the skills they need to participate fully in the economy and in Society. But it is unfortunate that most African countries Educational policies doesn´t reflect a balance Educational approach that take into consideration all Educational sectors in order to make a significant progress in terms of national development.
What kind of educational policies do African countries need to meet the challenges of the 21st century and what are the best possible solutions.
For any country to meet the pace of development, it needs to be able to create job opportunities, generate sources of revenue for general development, and to shift away from dependency on imports of good and services. This is a setback in many African countries because proper policies are not put in place, and those that are in place, are not well implemented.
What kinds of commintments are needed to put Africa on the path of development that is needed to meet up with the global pace.
The amount of money that is siphoned from African countries by government officials, individuals and companies to foreign financial institutions through corrupt practises is enough to build African countries with modern infrastructures, schools, industries and support small businesses. How can African countries meet up with the challenges of corruption given that part of the cause of corruption is encouraged by western financial institutions accepting billions of dollars from African government officials, and also how can corruption be controlled internally in African countries.
Water and Sanitation
The United Nations estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa alone loses 40 billion hours per year collecting water; that's the same as a whole year's worth of labor by the entire workforce in France. Nearly a billion, 884 million people do not have access to clean and safe water. 37% of those people live in Sub-Saharan Africa (WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. "Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water 2010). In developing countries, as much of 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions. According to the World Health Organization, for every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is an economic return of between $3 and $34.
What policies and strategies are required in Africa in the areas of water and sanitation to improve the quality and accessibility of water?
The most prosperous countries in the world are those that establish, nurture and protect their entrepreneurial environment. In the 2010 summit of entrepreneurship, president Obama stated in his speech that "Entrepreneurship is vital because throughout history, the market has been the most powerful force the world has ever known for creating opportunties and lifting people out of poverty". What role should governments in Africa play in order to identify and support Africa new generation of entrepreneurs and what is needed from the entrepreneurs themselves to meet up with the global entrepreneural competiveness.
In the early 80s, primary education was of high quality, both in terms of infrastructure, staffing and primary school graduates. From mid 90s the quality of infrastructure, staffing and primary school graduates reduced drastically because of less trained teachers and lack of condusive classrooms for children to learn in. There are a lot of primary and secondary school drop out currently in many African countries because of a dilapidating schooling system and this has increase the rate of crime, youth transmitted diseases because of lack of basic primary education. Exchange of ideas and best practises in different countries and from expert in primary educational policy will give participants a better understanding on how to improve on school systems in Africa.
Any country ecconomic and development competitiveness depends on its investments, both by the government and foreign investors. This can be achieved by the government investing in local infrastructure, supporting and leveling the playing field for foreign direct investment. What is needed for Africa to break this deadlock considering the potentials of Africa in terms of endowment with resources and new breed of African investors coming up every day?
Women and Girls Empowerment:
The trajectory of women and girls empowerment in Africa is still binded by cultural thinking although there is an improvement. Women are still marginalised in many aspects of African societies. What can be done by the governments, NGOs, individuals to break this stigma in order for women to discover their potentials?
Development cannot be achieved when part of the society still need basic facilities such as roads, schools, clean drinking water, healthcare and access to microfinance opportunities. In Africa majority of the people are local farmers who live in rural areas and most of these areas are totally cut-off from basic facilities. What kind of debates and policies are necessary to spur development in rural communities in Africa?
Africa is endowed with enormous amount of renewable energy such solar energy, biomass and natural gas. How can African countries use this to benefit development in the continent.
86% of the world´s population live in developing world, and Africa is one of those with the highest population. Today, the world is faced with tremendous challenges such as peace and secuirty, terrorism, human trafficking, climate change, humanitarian aid, migration and refugees, trade and economic development that requires cooperation from all around the world. How can African countries benefit from International cooperation?
Democracy and Good governance:
When people are allowed to decide who to be their rulers by participating in elections, they assume some sort of a sense of belonging and responsibility and commitment. These responsibility and commitment will translate to engagement by both the elected officials and the people on issues of development. Having a sense of awareness by elected officials in respect to the elctorates holding them accountable, they translate this awareness into good governance. It is also true that national governments with democracies rarely go into war with each another because the values of democracy binds them together. In the contrary many countries in Africa purporting to be democracies are frequently having internal and external problems because of bad governance. What can new African leaders learn from this and how can they breakaway from this stigma?
Leadership in Africa in all aspects of the society is wanting. How can new African leadership be encouraged and what is needed to be able to achieve this goal?
Climate change is a global issue that requires a strong and determined leadership. What is expected of Africa in terms of leadership to tackle the issue of climate change.
Last edited: 2013-03-20