I am on my way back from the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. This was a remarkable meeting with an overwhelming intellectual energy. The event was unique in many respects. But foremost, it was anchored by a preliminary meeting of the Grow Africa venture where private enterprises have pledged $3.5 billion in support to African agriculture. This was a serious event that involved heads of state and government from eight African countries. I had the unique opportunity to be part of a small group of people working to connect science and technology with the larger business agenda of WEF. This group was moderated by the talented Lanre Akinola, Editor of This Is Africa, a regional brand of the Financial Times. Lanre was superb. He had impeccable command of the details, and his ability to moderate a panel made up of ministers was truly masterful. My panel included Gunilla Carlsson (Swedish International Development Cooperation Minister), Claver Gatete (Rwandese Finance and Economic Planning Minister), and Frans van Houten (Royal Phillips Electronics CEO and Chairman). The consensus of the panel was that Africa's science and innovation agenda will be driven by contemporary challenges such as agriculture, health, and environment. "Africa's solutions will help to contribute to solutions in industrialized countries in field such as green growth," said Carlsson.
Juma, Calestous. "Africa's New Science and Innovation Agenda." Technology+Policy | Innovation@Work, May 14, 2013.