EA industrial drive focus of key forum

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HIGHER learning institutions in East Africa are organising a special forum through which the academia will meet the private sector and discuss how the two parties can jointly work for the region’s industrial development.

The Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), the East African Business Council (EABC), the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO), and the East African Development Bank (EADB) are jointly organising the Academia-Public-Private Partnership (APPP) Forum and Exhibitions 2018. The forum’s theme is The East African Common Higher Education Area: Opportunities for Industrialisation through Academia-Public-Private Partnerships.

Speaking in Arusha, the Executive Secretary of Inter-University Council for East Africa, Prof Alexandre Lyambabaje, said the forum seeks to explore the status and potential for linkage between the three sectors in utilising opportunities created by the East African Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol. This time the forum will take place at Catholic University of East Africa in Nairobi, Kenya from the 21st to the 22nd of March 2018.

It focuses on enhancing linkage between the academia, research institutions, and public and private sector enterprises as well as promoting the utilisation of higher education research output and innovations by the private sector and business community. It also targets to promote consultative engagement in curriculum and research development and implementation, plus jointly organising dialogue forums and exhibitions.

The key themes of discussion will include Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) as a catalyst for transformation of the production systems and outputs and the contribution of Medium, Small and Macro Enterprises (MSMEs) to ensure optimisation of productive potential for sustainable economic growth. Delegates will also discuss the regional education ecosystems for knowledge management and information sharing within the EAC industrialisation processes; the role of centresof- excellence initiatives in the EAC partner states in industrialisation; and the role of media and creative arts in promoting APPP and EAC integration.

“Academic-Industry linkages have become critically important at this stage when we know that the convergence between academic, public and private institutions both productive and service providers can drive innovative development,” said Prof Alexandre Lyambabaje. “Whereas publication of research findings in peer-reviewed journals is good, translating these research findings into innovative products and services that can be commercialised and used in everyday life is greater,” he said.

He encouraged academics, researchers, innovators, students, SMEs and all interested members of the public to attend the forum for sharing experiences and use the forum as opportunity for learning.

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