National Academies to Host Aug. 5 Symposium on Science, Technology, and Innovation for Development in Africa


WASHINGTON -- While President Obama hosts the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit next week, the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine will hold a symposium to explore the role of science, technology, and innovation in advancing development in Africa. 


The symposium will bring together policymakers and experts from academia and the private sector to examine how science and technology can be strengthened in order to support a range of development goals, such as improving health care, increasing food security, enhancing infrastructure, and building disaster resilience. 


After welcoming remarks by National Academy of Engineering President C.D. Mote Jr., speakers will include South Africa’s minister of science and technology and (by video link) the vice president of Tanzania, as well as the presidents of the science academies of Nigeria and Uganda – two of the academies that have been working with the U.S. National Academes for a decade through the ASADI program to strengthen the capacity of African science academies to inform policymaking. Also, the U.S. National Academies are among the cornerstone partners in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s U.S. Global Development Lab, which aims to source, test, and apply cost-efficient, high-impact solutions to help people worldwide lift themselves out of extreme poverty.


The event also will include a video conference with researchers at the Nelson Mandela Institute in Tanzania who are part of USAID’s Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Program. The program, whose grants are administered by the U.S. National Academies, supports scientists in developing countries who conduct research on development issues in collaboration with National Science Foundation-supported scientists.


The symposium will run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. EDT on Aug. 5 at the National Academies’ Keck Center, 500 Fifth St., N.W., Washington, D.C.  A draft agenda is available at Seating at the symposium is very limited; reporters are required to register in advance with the National Academies’ Office of News and Public Information: tel. 202-334-2138 or e-mail A live video webcast of the event will be available at Follow the event on Twitter at #AfricaSciDev.