Summary of conclusions and recommendations, INCONTACT Africa Regional Dialogue Meeting, 26 September 2011, Johannesburg
The progress in EU-Africa development cooperation programmes is the main prerequisite for further S&T cooperation between the EU and African countries. To this end, EU S&T cooperation with Africa could be aligned with development cooperation policies and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Thus, development programmes and programmes implemented within S&T cooperation would coincide with implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategic Partnership and in particular on Science, Information Society and Space.
The consequences of the 2008 global economic and financial crisis have caused significant menace to smooth development programes implementation and coherent development resources allocation. In spite of the fact that donors’ community has slowed down the process of development financial commitments implementation , substantial targeted support was provided within international initiatives. However, national development and S&T programmes in most African countries are still lacking appropriate financial resources. The challenge is finding the balance between the level of funds to finance the partnerships, including aid partnerships, and the outputs the partnerships produce. Thus, in our consideration, the assessment of development projects impact would be needed in order to realize what innovations and research are required for further development.
The FP7 could be perceived by African countries as a tool to implement research for development programmes. It should not be considered as a post-development instrument, but participation in the FP7 may stimulate African research communities to generate local solutions for development programmes. The “Horison 2020”, like FP7, is also meant to address global issues. Thus, there would be a synergy between “Horison 2020” and objectives of the aid partnerships, which are designed to contribute to capacity building. The task of the EU would be to translate the objectives of the “Horison 2020” into the common language and to form a mutually shared perception.
EU S&T cooperation programs are capable of enhancing S&T development in African countries, which strengthens the EU-Africa cooperation. On one hand, some incentives could be introduced to support S&T cooperation within aid partnership. On the other hand, the development cooperation programes could be brought very close to S&T cooperation between Africa and EU. More specifically, S&T cooperation should be also one of the priorities of aid partnerships. Undoubtedly, development and research component in a programme raises the attractiveness and competitiveness of the whole project. Finally, the research, implemented and supported by the FP7 could identify the problem areas and attract donors’ attention to launch activities in fragile sectors.