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South Africa: Experts Push for Integration to Aid African Innovation
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Monday, December 12, 2016
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Dec 12, 2016

Delegates believe the sharing of knowledge can benefit regions and eventually the continent. 
Executive Secretary of the East African Science and Technology Commission, Gertrude Ngabirano, said there is a need to integrate regions to promote collaboration and partnerships on the continent.
She said innovation in Africa lagged behind owing to boundaries created by previous regimes.
"If we are integrated as a continent, it will assist us to share information and also learn from each other," said Ngabirano.
She said many innovators still met with resistance from their respective governments. "There are lot of our innovators who are unable to commercialise innovation because they need licensing from their governments. 
“As we integrate ourselves, we need to share information on how to get buy-in from our politicians," she said.
African innovators also raised the need to explore the use of more languages, saying stakeholders should not confine themselves to one language to develop innovations aimed at addressing the needs facing Africa. Many innovative ideas and technologies originate from locals, but gaps remain between innovative concepts and selling ideas in home languages. 
Professor Hamidou Boly, the Economic Community of West African States' Commissioner for Education, Science and Culture, said: "All of us in Africa need to participate and invest in new trends of innovation, as most of our cities' largest population is youth. The future of our youth is worth investing in."
Head of Telecommunications at the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Mr Guichard Tsangou, said: "There are thousands of languages spoken in Africa and confining our innovation to one language, English, would delay Africa's agenda to address societal needs through technologies and innovations.
"Linking our innovation with language is misleading. Let us develop our innovations to solve our problems in our different languages," he said.
The three-day Senior Experts Dialogue meeting is an initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Union Commission and the New Partnership for Africa's Development Planning and Coordinating Agency, supported by the Department of Science and Technology.
The event attracted 21 African countries, including South African metropolitan municipalities such as the Cities of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
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