The Gambia benefits from a technical assistance in the framework of the OACPS Policy Support Facility (PSF) to set up and operationalise a national Innovation Fund aimed at fostering a creative, self-reliant and knowledge-based society for sustained socio-economic growth.
An online technical meeting was held last month, marking the start of the PSF service, requested by the Gambia’s Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST).
The current National Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (NSTIP, 2015–2024), under review, needs to better promote innovation and improve its performance in key sectors such as education, health, agriculture and fisheries (prioritised by the National Development Plan-2018-2021), in order to enhance its dynamics and accelerate sustainable development.
It is against this background that the PSF service will be carried out, over a period of 6 months, by an international panel of experts who will actively collaborate with the national team of the Gambia and the PSF team (OACPS R&I Programme).
The national Innovation Fund will at least contribute to:
- Assist the Gambia become innovative and creative, and a global player in sustainable technologies by scouting, spawning and sustaining grassroots innovations.
- Synergise the national R&I system and promote open science and innovation, through partnerships among government, academia, industry and civil society.
- Increase private sector investment in innovative projects for better competitiveness and efficiency (notably of MSMEs).
- Promote the implementation of scientific and technological innovations.
- Improve inclusiveness (gender equality in STEM, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, etc.).
- Achieve the SDGs, the objectives of the STISA 2024 and of the Agenda 2063: ‘The Africa We Want’.
A country background report is currently being prepared in advance of the expert panel’s field mission, scheduled in October.
Launched in January 2021, the PSF is one of the components of the OACPS Research and Innovation Programme, implemented by the Secretariat of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and funded by the European Union (EU). The Programme has a three-pronged approach to unlock innovation potential in the 79 OACPS member countries:
- PSF to enhance the quality of R&I policies and systems,
- Innovation Fund to foster a conducive R&I environment, and
- Web portal to cross-fertilise knowledge and experiences between R&I actors.
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