Regional initiatives

New ECA Publication to Spotlight Breakthroughs of African Female Scientists

A new publication ‘Earth, Oceans and Skies: Insights from selected, outstanding African women scientists’ by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) will spotlight African female scientists whose contributions seek to address some of the most critical challenges of the UN’s Decade of Action leading up to the year 2030.

From exploring the depths of the ocean to studying the vastness of space, the publication features dozens of autobiographies of selected scientists including female doctors, engineers and scientists from Africa whose research and discoveries are helping to tackle complex global challenges.

Click here to read more.


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IFPMA event on March 8th – Women Innovators in Africa

The virtual event, titled “Women-led innovation in Africa: Achieving sustainable health and gender equality on the continent” will take place in March to mark International Women’s Day. The event will demystify the notion that women have a limited role in innovation, celebrating the contribution made by women leaders, innovators, and creators to the development of societies and economies. The underpinning argument is that, without the considerable and equal participation of women in policymaking, business and innovation, it will be impossible to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

Join IFPMASpeak Up Africa, and African women driving innovation and making advancements to achieve the SDGs on Tuesday, 08 March from 09:00-11:00 GMT / 10:00-12:00 CET. The panel will be part of Speak Up Africa’s broader African LeadHERs Forum. This virtual, two-hour moderated panel discussion will be held on Zoom, and interpretation from English to French will be available.

Register now.  


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Slideshow: Extending Bio-manufacturing Networks in Africa and IP and Covid

This slideshow presents key messages from the recent Innovation Council – Bobab online discussion about extending bio-manufacturing networks in emerging regions, notably Africa. The discussion on February 8th featured Prof. Mark Schultz of the University of Akron School of Law, Anissa Boumlic of Merck Life Science, and Simon Agwale of the African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative. Click here for the video of the event, and click here to review a transcript of the event.

Read the full story.

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Invent Together advocacy in favor of the IDEA Act

Invent Together is a coalition of organizations, universities, companies, and other stakeholders dedicated to understanding the diversity gaps in invention and patenting. It aims to support public policy and private initiatives working to close the diversity gap. They have been supporting the adoption of the Inventor Diversity for Economic Advancement (IDEA) Act, which would require the USPTO to collect data on inventors’ demographic data on a voluntary basis and make this information available in the aggregate for research.

The IDEA Act has recently passed the House as part of the America COMPETES Act. As the House and Senate negotiate a compromise, Invent Together is calling for Congress to keep the IDEA Act in the final version sent to President Biden’s office.

Invent Together has written a sign-on letter urging congressional leadership to keep the IDEA Act in the final innovation and competition bill which can be found here.

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Bobab discussion about bio-manufacturing in emerging regions

The Innovation Council and Bobab organised a discussion on expanding BioManufacturing production capacity in emerging regions. Biologics, a category of pharmaceuticals which includes products such as vaccines and monoclonal antibody treatments, are quickly becoming among the most important medical products in the world. By combining enabling government policies and technology transfer between innovators and their global partners, it will be possible to improve availability of biologics, increase health security, and enhance scientific and industrial capacity in developing countries.

Click here to see the transcript.

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Here’s why developing countries can make COVID-19 mRNA vaccines

Across the developing world, hundreds of millions of people are unable to get a vaccine to protect themselves from the ravages of COVID-19, and millions of them have already become infected and died. According to public health experts, relying on wealthy nations to donate billions of doses is not working. The solution many now believe is for the countries to do something that the big U.S. mRNA vaccine makers say is not feasible: manufacture the gold-standard mRNA shots themselves.

Read the full story.

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The Africa Agri-Tech Development Forum: Financing the Future of Off-Farm Innovation in Africa

Over the course of four online events, Innovation Council member Bobab, brings together diverse groups of experts from business, academia and policy from Africa, the UK and beyond. In this third event of the Forum Boabab will be asking tough questions around exactly how an enabling environment can be created for private sector investment; one that facilitates and directs capital to the areas of the agricultural value chain that can have the greatest impact, for both short-term recovery and long-term transformation.

Read the full story and register here.

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WIPO Training: Mentoring and Matchmaking Program on IP for Women Entrepreneurs

Open for applications: WIPO women entrepreneurship program for members of indigenous peoples and local communities. The program supports indigenous entrepreneurs in strategically using intellectual property tools to grow their businesses.

Submit your application by September 6, 2021 here.

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‘Landmark initiative’: Ramaphosa, Macron announce new SA-based Covid-19 vaccine hub

President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that France would invest in boosting the production of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa, in order to help close the gap in vaccine availability between African and Western nations. South African Innovation Council member Biovac, which has a partnership with France, has partnered with African Biologics and Vaccines (a network of universities) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to establish Africa’s first Covid messenger RNA vaccine technology transfer hub.

Read the full story.


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