From 23rd to 25th October, Cesar Augusto Mba Abogo, Secretary of State Charged with Monitoring the Horizonte 2020 Plan, attended, in Maputo, the Innovation Africa Summit, organised by the Government of Mozambique and African Brains, an organisation which is promoting the incorporation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the development plans for African States, with particular emphasis on education.
As in previous editions, Innovation Africa Summit 2017 began with a Ministerial Meeting on 23rd, opened by H. E. Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, which was attended by ministers from the areas of education, new technologies and planning from Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo (DRC), Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, the Islands of Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
During the meeting they looked at the cooperation protocol adopted in 2016 in Nairobi, by African ministers for education, new technologies and development, in order to accelerate the inclusion of ICTs within the productive and organisational processes on the continent, in both the public and private sectors. The parties reaffirmed their commitment to creating an effective cooperation platform among African ministers with responsibilities in these sectors, in order to share experiences and best practice.
The responsibility for closing the technological gap in our societies, for facing the challenges implied in the 4th Industrial Revolution, and taking advantage of the opportunities, in shared, not a single African country must be left behind”, affirmed African ministers.
Furthermore, on 23rd, following the meeting, the most significant innovations that giants from the industry have devised for Africa were presented, in addition to socially motivated initiatives which are being promoted to close the technological gap which separates the African continent from the more developed world.
Thus, IBM, Intel, Cambridge University, Hewlett Packard (HP), Positivo BGH and JP presented their proposals for accelerating the digital revolution on the continent. Many of these initiatives imply huge investment by these corporations, with the ultimate aim to gain footholds in the African market, whose potential for growth and development in the area of ITCs is currently one of the most attractive.
These corporations are not only financing the digital revolution in Africa, but have also found on the continent a vibrant market, and a privileged space where they can close Public-Private Partnership (PPP) deals.
The 24th and 25th were dedicated to themed panels on which African ministers, industry leaders, investors and African and international academic institutions took part. These panels covered the most pressing topics regarding the expansion and diffusion of ICTs within the organisational and productive processes in Africa, their consolidation within the education system, and the creation of regulatory frameworks designed to promote direct foreign investment and PPP agreements.
During the summit meeting were organised between investors and institutions and African ministers, to look at investment and collaboration opportunities.
The Equatorial Guinea Secretary of State took part in the panel Public Private Partnership for Education and Innovation, which also included the Minister for Information, Communication and Technology from Swaziland, the Minister for National Education and Higher Education from Gabon, the Permanent Secretary from Zambia Smart Institute, and the Minister for Education, Science and Technology from Malawi.
The event allowed those present to speak about the progress in their countries, regarding education and local initiatives to boost PPPs.
With regards to Equatorial Guinea, the Secretary of State explained that education has always been a priority for the Government since day 1 of the Horizonte 2020 Plan and that, following a presentation of the Final Report of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in 2015 and the subsequent adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the Executive is immersed in a paradigm shift in education. This change aims for our policies to be coherent with the aims set out in ODS 4 (SG 4: To guarantee an inclusive fair quality education and promote permanent learning opportunities for all). SDG4 necessarily requires the inclusion and diffusion of ICTs within the education system, and Equatorial Guinea, explained the Secretary of State, is open to investors and institutions that wish to accompany our country in the adventure of achieving SDG 4 from now to 2030.
Mba Abogo met a total of 17 companies and institutions interested in collaborating and/or investing in the education system in Equatorial Guinea, including: BM, Cambridge University, JP, Promethean, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Kortext, Genius Plaza, De Lorenzo, UC Wireless and One Laptop Per Child.
Source: Official Web Page of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea