The Academy has carefully reviewed the areas in which it has potential impact against the background of Africa’s development challenges in the new millennium. It has considered the widely accepted Millennium Development Goals and identified opportunities for relevant interventions within the continent. The Academy has also reviewed the development agenda elaborated by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), particularly the comprehensive agricultural action plans and the environmental action plans. Out of these reviews and through extensive consultations with its constituencies, the Academy has identified core programmes and activities for implementation.
Programme 1: Capacity Building in Science and Technology:
This programme constitutes a logical starting point in the implementation of the Academy’s mission in many African countries. It''s notable that in many of these countries, indigenous science and technology capacity has not yet reached critical mass levels for transforming significant discoveries into novel products and services. Activities under this programme constitute the following areas.
Capacity building in basic sciences
Capacity building in conservation and utilization of biodiversity
Capacity building for forestry research and sustainable forest management
Capacity building in soil and water management (SWM)
Capacity building in HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases
Empowerment of women in science and technology
Capacity building in sustainable energy development and use
Capacity building in use of new and emerging technologies
Capacity building in use of traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights
Programme 2: Mobilization and Strengthening of African Science and Technology Community:
This programme aims at promoting synergy and interactive linkages with African establishments in science and technology policy, research and development, and professional enhancement. The Academy seeks to promote and support working partnerships among relevant institutions in mobilizing the scientific community for greater impact in the continent. Target institutions include:-
National science and technology organs, especially national research councils and national academies of sciences;
Leading business and industrial establishments with a technology orientation;
Leading industrial research and development laboratories and organizations, whether public, parastatal or private;
The major professional associations in the science and technology field;
Associations of universities, polytechnics and other tertiary institutions.
The Academy constitutes think tanks and task forces to review progress in specific areas of research and development. The reports of such reviews help guide subsequent research and development activities. The programme promotes and supports institutions to keep them on the cutting edge of science and technology development.
Finally, the programme aslo supports networking of science and technology institutions in the continent under the following focal areas;
Consortium of national and continental academies of science in Africa
African science, technology and entrepreneurship awards acheme
Sustained growth of the number of AAS fellows
Programme 3: Publication and Dissemination of Scientific Materials:
Since its inception, the AAS has strived to support the African science and technology community through its publications and their wide dissemination, and by engaging in a journal and book distribution programme. This is a pre-eminent undertaking for any honorific institution that intends to make a lasting contribution to the advancement of a particular branch of knowledge. The singularity of the Academy’s dedication to this course has resulted in a widely respected international, peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal, Discovery and Innovation.
Programme 4: Research-Development Linkages and Public Policy Advocacy: This programme extends the impact of the Academy through ensuring links between research and development and through policy advocacy. the Research and Development Forum for Science-led Development (RANDFORUM) in Africa was implemented as a component of this programme. More recently, the Academy has played a significant role in the ongoing global dialogue on sustainable forest management and will continue with similar activities under this programme. The programme will remain flexible in addressing topical issues as they emerge, through roundtable discussions, workshops, symposia, etc and will give special emphasis to providing sustained input into the agenda of NEPAD.
AchievementsThe African Academy of Sciences has invested over ten (10) million US dollars over the past 16 years, in supporting scientific research in many countries in Africa through the above programmatic activities. The AAS has given support and recognition to very many individual scientists and/or scientific institutions in Africa and the Diaspora, who have in turn made outstanding contributions to the advancement of science and technology in the continent. It has also proactively initiated, joined, endorsed or supported various scientific networks in Africa in pursuit of sustainable science-led development in the continent.