The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) provides think tank functions, setting, aligning and ensuring an Africa-led, Africa-centred, and Africa-relevant science agenda for the continent. To ensure an Africa-centred agenda, it is assessing the Science, Technology and Innovations (STI) landscape, pursuing and creating partnerships with public and private donors, philanthropists, national governments, research and civil society organisations to identify and address critical STI gaps on the continent.
The goal is to ensure that funding and initiatives addressing these gaps are relevant to the needs of the continent.
Outcomes from think tank activities will guide and inform initiatives to be implemented by the AAS or other partners.
The think tank is guided by three strategic areas:
- Evidence generation where the AAS will generate and identify research to inform policy
- Thought and advocacy leadership where the AAS will provide a platform to discuss and address STI challenges. Outcomes of the discussions will inform policy briefs and the Academy’s advocacy activities
- Knowledge management and capacity builder, which involves packaging and communicating data in a form that is relevant to policymakers and providing a platform for STI stakeholders to exchange knowledge.
For the AAS to be the leading think tank and knowledge hub for science, technology and innovation in Africa
- Serving as an informed and independent voice in policy debates
- Identifying, articulating, and evaluating current STI policy issues
- Transforming ideas and emerging STI problems into policy issues
- Providing a constructive forum for the exchange of ideas and information between key stakeholders in the policy arena
- Facilitating the construction of “issue networks”
- Contributing to proper implementation of AU’s STI Strategy for Africa and other important frameworks.
Current and future activities
The think tank’s work to use research to inform policies encompasses:
- Creating committees of experts in the six science areas– climate change; health and wellbeing; STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics); water and sanitation; sustainable energy; food security and nutritional wellbeing that we focus on, to promote evidence-based policymaking. The first of these is the Health and Wellbeing Committee, which will review and provide evidence for making sound health policies
- Under the NEPAD Agency’s leadership, the Academy is also leading efforts to develop an African health research strategy for the AU
- Convening fora to facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue on emerging STI issues
- Independent and rigorous analysis of critical continental, regional and country-specific challenges and opportunities