African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced its partnership and support to the African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS), which would address gaps in operational costs as well as funding for ongoing activities over a three-year period concluding in 2023.
Afreximbank’s US$500,000 financial support would facilitate the implementation of development programmes on the continent and cover the shortfall in ATPS’ resources.
TheFact Nigeria reports that “Think Tanks” play a crucial role in Africa as catalysts for ideas, helping develop material solutions to some of the continent’s most complex and intractable challenges. As actors equipped to understand intensely local issues, secure buy-in from relevant players, and establish sustainable partnerships across sectors and interests, these institutions are vital to maintaining and improving governance mechanisms through evidence-based decision-making for Africa’s development.
The ATPS boasts an impressive record of activity: having worked in over 30 African countries; completed 150 STI research projects; published over 1000 research papers, journals, and policy briefs; developed 4 training manuals; trained over 8000 different stakeholders; and conducted over 75 training workshops on science, technology and innovation development in Africa. Moreover, the ATPS pioneered the first ever African Manifesto for Science, Technology, and Innovation.
Alongside a diverse range of partners, the ATPS has facilitated the commercialization of more than 110 technologies, created over 12,000 jobs, worked with over 50,000 farmers, established 350 SMEs, supported over 280 new businesses across Africa and created linkages with over 20 incubators and mini incubators across Africa.
This partnership aligns with Afreximbank’s mandate to stimulate a consistent expansion and diversification of African trade to ultimately increase Africa’s share of global trade. Strengthening and collaborating with indigenous knowledge based African institutions fits into the Bank’s strategy.
As the provider of key platforms which encourage the commercialization and implementation of indigenous knowledge and solutions, the ATPS contributes significantly to sustainable development in Africa.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, commented: “I am delighted that the Bank has entered into this partnership with the African Technology and Policy Studies Network, which has shown through its record an unwavering commitment to intellectual integrity, imagination and ingenuity in the pursuit of sustainable development on this continent. Robust institutional capacity in Africa has, historically, been stymied by a shortage of funding for think tanks and their programmes – Afreximbank is pleased and proud to address this.“
Dr. Nicholas Ozor, Executive Director of ATPS commented: “I am very excited on this landmark partnership between the Afreximbank and the ATPS. Through this partnership, we will strive to tackle youth unemployment which is one of Africa’s most pressing challenge, by the application of science, technology and innovation as a means for technological innovation development, commercialization and up-scaling of enterprises for job and wealth creation in Africa.“