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Harnessing Science and Technology for Africas Development ________________ Prof Tshilidzi Marwala OMB PhD Executive Dean Faculty of Engineering & the Built.

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Presentation on theme: "Harnessing Science and Technology for Africas Development ________________ Prof Tshilidzi Marwala OMB PhD Executive Dean Faculty of Engineering & the Built."— Presentation transcript:

1 Harnessing Science and Technology for Africas Development ________________ Prof Tshilidzi Marwala OMB PhD Executive Dean Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment University of Johannesburg (UJ) Auckland Park, South Africa

2 Overview Africa Today Africa in 30 Years Time Where should Africa be in 2050? Current Challenges Bridging the Expectation Gap Scientific areas needed for Africas development Open Questions Conclusions and Questions

3 Africa Today The African continent currently has a total annual GDP of US$1.6 trillion (McKinsey & Co); Its economy is the third fastest growing region on the planet after China and India; In 2009 it recorded an estimated 5% growth and thus added US$70 billion to the World economy; The African continent has over 1 billion people The literacy rate is at an all-time high The continent is more democratic than ever before

4 Africa in 30 Years Time Nigeria will become the largest economy in continent in less than 20 years time. The African continent will have over 2 billion people in 40 years The African economy will be more integrated The levels of democratization will be greatly expanded The number of educated people will be much more than today

5 Where should Africa be in 2050? Factory floor for the world economy 80% of people should be literate Decreased levels of epidemics and pandemics Much more secured nations and coast lines High levels of communication connectivity Environmentally friendly continent Increased number of people who are trained in Science and Technology More people with postgraduate qualifications

6 Current Challenges Climate change Poverty Crisis Skills shortage Health Crisis Energy crisis African System Financial Stability Political Stability Food Security Economic Stability Courtesy Dr. C. Nonkwelo

7 Bridging the Gap Positioning of Science and Technology within the political, social and economic spaces Building and Expanding Institutions that support Science and Technology –Expanding Educational Infrastructures –Expanding research and development infrastructure

8 What is Science? systematic enterprise of gathering and condensing knowledge into testable laws and theories wikipedia Scientific method has been developed to deal with complex phenomena Examples: Physical Science, Biological Science, Mathematical Sciences

9 What is Technology? The objects or processes that are derived from the application of science Examples: Communication Technology (object: cell phone); Biomedical technology (object: stethoscope)

10 Bridging the Gap: Political Space We need to invest in Science and Technology (South Africa invests less than 1% of GDP into research in S&T) We need to support and expand state institutions such as the CSIR and NRF We need to increase our capacity to formulate and implement Science and Technology (S&T) Policy. We need to develop capacity to produce and exploit intellectual property We need to develop mechanisms to better trade of scientific goods

11 Bridging the Gap: Social Space We need to increase scientific literacy within the general populace We need to use community infrastructures to increase the capacity to produce students with Mathematics and Science competency Get communities to adopt technological tools to improve their quality of life

12 Bridging the Gap: Economic Space We need to use science and technology to increase economic participation We need to invest into strategic technologies that would increase competitiveness We need to use S&T to solve problems such as food shortage

13 Some areas critical for Africas Development Space sciences Energy Biotechnology Information & communications technology Climate change

14 Space sciences Remote sensing to increase visibility of areas of geographic importance e.g. land usage and agriculture Monitoring of the coast lines e.g. enforce fishing rights Communication e.g. satellite communication Understand the evolution of the universe e.g. Square kilometers array

15 Energy Diversify energy sources –Nuclear –Hydro –Biomass –Solar Put emphasis on renewable energy Integrate the African energy pool Efficient utilization of energy

16 Biotechnology Indigenous pharmaceutical production Genetically modified crops Increase fuel production e.g. ethanol Bioinformatics Blue biotechnology – marine and aquatic applications of biotechnology Green biotechnology Red biotechnology – application to medicine White biotechnology – application to industrial processes

17 Information & communications technology Connectivity Computing Internet Broadband Digitization Computational/Artificial intelligence Outsourcing Call centres

18 Climate change Risks of coastal flooding Risks of droughts Desertification Diseases Destruction of the ecosystem

19 Open Questions? What are other S&T areas of criticality for Africas Development? What is the role of African integration on promoting S&T? What is the role of African leadership in promoting S&T? How do we stop and reverse brain drain in the S&T sector? How do we use S&T to modernize the African community?

20 Open Questions? What is the relationship between S&T and the future of mankind? How do we effectively use innovation to drive economic growth? What is the optimal investment into S&T to drive development? How do we effectively invest into S&T to improve health?

21 Open Questions? How do we build the Post Kyoto world? What is the impact of ICT on economy, society and quality of life? What is the optimal combination of energy sources to ensure the security of supply? What is the political economy of S&T?

22 Conclusions It can be done! Questions

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