African Science, Technology, and Innovation Forum 2020
Monday, February 24, 2020 to Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe


The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development established the collaborative Multi-Stakeholder Science, Technology, and Innovation Forum for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM). The STI Forum is convened once a year at the global level for a period of two days, to discuss STI cooperation and provides a venue for facilitating interaction, matchmaking and the establishment of networks between relevant stakeholders, identify and examine technology needs and gaps, and facilitate development, transfer and dissemination of relevant technologies for the Sustainable Development Goals.

The African Regional STI Forum was established by resolution 960 (LI) of the Conference of Ministers of ECA 15 May 2018 to provide input into the work of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) and the Multi-stakeholder Science, Technology, and Innovation Forum for the SDGs. The first African Regional STI Forum was organized and held in Morocco on 16 April 2019. The second African Regional Science, Technology and Innovation Forum is scheduled to take place from 24 to 25 February 2020 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, back to back to the 2020 ARFSD (for Further information please see https://www.uneca.org/arfsd2020

To stimulate dialogue on possible accelerators of implementation, the deliberations of the 2020 STI Forum will be informed by keynote speakers as well as the Summary Report of the 2020 Africa Sustainable Development Report and background reports on the five subthemes crafted around the Ps – People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnerships (see Table 1).

The STI African Forum convenes multiple stakeholders: universities, private sectors, government, civil society, innovation hubs, industrial research. It serves as platform for identifying:

  • Effective approaches, mechanisms, strategies and policies for applying science, technology and innovation to development in Africa;
  • Technological options that will likely have a greater impact on efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Opportunities for scaling up actions to apply science, technology and innovation at the regional, national and local levels;
  • Potential barriers to applying science, technology and innovation in Africa and ways to overcome them


        1.       Call for innovation for the SDGs

The call for innovation is designed to showcase innovations developed in and for Africa that are significantly accelerating the attainment of the SDGs, facilitate knowledge exchange, encourage collaboration and promote uptake of innovative solutions. It is also designed to attract investors and potential industry partners. Clike here for the Call for Innovation.

The call is open to individuals and winners will be invited to present their innovation in February 2019 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and may receive certificates of recognition during an award ceremony at the African Regional STI Forum. Youths and women are encouraged to submit their innovations.

        2.       Launch of the Africa Open Innovation Platform

The Africa Open Innovation Platform is an online market for crowdsourcing solutions from a large pool of potential solvers. Firms, individuals, governments, donors and civil society would post challenges that freelance solvers could provide solutions. It enables firms with limited R&D capacity to outsource R&D activities and insource technological solutions at a fraction of the cost. It is also a technology marketplace for making requests and offers. The platform builds on ECA’s inspired African Biomedical Engineering Consortium (ABEC) and their partners that developed the Euro-African Open Biomedical Engineering e-platform for Innovation through Education (https://platform.ubora-biomedical.org/) that is open and free.

        3.       Innovations in Action

This call is specifically targeting innovations that are in the market and are making significant economic, social and/or environmental contributions. It specifically seeks to showcase public and private sector initiatives employing new and emerging technologies in all sectors of the economy such as agriculture, education, healthcare, infrastructure, government and community development whose contribution to accelerate the attainment of 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 is significant.

        4.       Best Practices in Policy Design and Implementation in Africa

Science, Technology and Innovation Policies are important in guiding national efforts to accelerate development, acquisition and use of technologies and innovations. This call is designed specifically for government institutions such as national councils, advisory bodies and ministries that wish to showcase their STI or STI-related policies (e.g. biotechnology, digital, energy and nanotechnology) as good practices.

This work will inform the ongoing efforts by various UN agencies to support African countries to design STI policies. For instance, the UN interagency task team (IATT) that support the TFM and the global Multi-stakeholder STI Forum has developed a toolkit called the STI Roadmap to guide STI policy design and development. The outcome will also inform the current effort by ECA to improve STI Policy Design and Implementation. Link to Best Practices Call page.

Table 1: The Five Ps and the Corresponding Goals to inform the African Regional STI Forum


Goals 1 (No poverty), 2 (Zero hunger), 3 (Good health and wellbeing), 4 (Quality education) and 5 (Gender equality)



Goals 7 (Affordable and clean energy), 8 (Decent work and economic growth), 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), 10 (Reduced inequalities) and 11 (Sustainable cities and communities)


Goals 6 (Clean water and sanitation), 12 (Responsible consumption and production), 13 (Climate action), 14 (Life below water) and 15 (Life on land)


Goal 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions)


Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goals)


For further information, please contact:

Mr. Gedion Workneh

Green Economy, Innovation and Technology Section

Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management Division (TCND)

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa,

P.O Box 3001, Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA

Email: workneh@un.org

Tel: +251.11.544.3570