Socio-economic development

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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International Gender Champions

The International Gender Champions (IGC) is a leadership network that brings together female & male decision-makers determined to break down gender barriers and make gender equality a working reality in their spheres of influence.

The network numbers over 250 active Champions and 160 Alumni who are the heads of International Organizations, Permanent Missions, and Civil Society Organizations.

Click here for their factsheet or go directly to their website.

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UNCTAD’s Global Trade Update

UNCTAD’s Global Trade Update was published on 17 February 2022. It shows that in 2021 global trade growth remained strong, as its value continued to increase through each quarter of 2021. Trade growth was not only limited to goods, as trades in services also grew substantially through 2021, to finally reach pre-pandemic levels during Q4 2021.

Read the full report.

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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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Center for Global Development series on the EU-Africa Summit

On February 17th, the long-awaited summit between the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU), delayed since 2020, finally began. But in the time since the first event was scheduled, the world was ravaged by a pandemic that is estimated to have stalled a decade of continuous growth and human capital improvement on the African continent.

The Center for Global Development prepared an excellent series on the EU-Africa Summit consisting of mini reports by CGD experts about the various joint priorities set out by the AU and the EU. The series offers compelling analysis and commentary on the actions needed in order for a meaningful reconstruction of the relationship between the two continents to materialize. 

Find the series here.

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BioNTech to supply modular vaccine plants to African countries

The German company BioNTech announced on February 16th its plans to supply modular plants to make mRNA vaccines to Rwanda, Senegal and, potentially, South Africa. This announcement came ahead of a Europe-Africa summit at which increasing vaccine production in Africa is expected to be a vital topic of discussion. Not only would BioNTech be responsible for the delivery and installation of the modules, but the company said it was prepared to transfer know-how to local partners to enable them to operate independently.

While it had been previously stated that voluntary technology transfers had so far been limited during the pandemic, this was contradicted by research published end-2021, which can be found in an online report

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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Quantum Computing takes off: A look at the evolution of Quantum Technology and Patents

In 1980, the idea of a quantum processing unit was proposed. Such a processing unit doesn’t use the 1s and 0s with which we’re familiar. That “classical” way of thinking is the way we think, with a 1 for true and a 0 for false, and combinations—for example, a “false positive.” Quantum computing is based on a “superposition” of states called “quantum bits” or “qubits” for short. But there’s a big difference between the way we think and the way nature behaves.

Read the full story.

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