UNESCO to hold a Public Lecture on The Role of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation in Accelerating SDG Implementation

UNESCO is set to conduct a public lecture on ‘The Role of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation on Accelerating SDG Implementation’ scheduled for 11 March 2022 at the University of Juba at 10:00am.

In 2013 the African Union adopted Agenda 2063 under the title ‘The Africa We Want’, presenting a vision for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years. Two years later, the Member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted the Agenda 2030 “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Both Agendas present a historic plan to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and transit towards a sustainable development path. The sustainable development challenges are complex and require collective action and responsibility from all the world’s citizens. These Agendas call for transformational change in many areas such as health, energy, climate change, food security, mobility and transportation, ICTs, water, sustainable cities, and others. A complicating factor is that these transformations need to be made almost simultaneously, adding further to the complexities. To manage these complexities requires a long-term vision and clear strategy that puts education and science technology and innovation (STI) at its core. It will require a new mindset, and a wave of knowledge, creativity, and innovation to be unleashed, which underpins a key role for universities and for science. It calls for strong science to inform policy and for strong policies for science.

It is expected that the Public Lecture will outline the main challenges to be addressed, and identify the roles to be played by universities, and by Science, Technology and Innovation to catalyze this global transition towards a world and an Africa where people live in harmony between themselves and with nature. It will also focus on the water-energy-food nexus and its importance in achieving Agenda 2063. These three sectors are at the heart of sustainable development and present the key building blocks for sustainable cities and green economies. The presentation therefore will argue that transformational shifts will be needed especially in these three sectors to be able to balance people and planet. The transformation towards ‘New Water’, ‘New Food’, and ‘New Energy’, will lead the way towards a sustainable future for Africa, and for the World.

The Public lecture will be led, by Prof. Hubert J Gijzen, UNESCO Regional Director for Eastern Africa who holds a PhD in Biotechnology, and has an established career of over 39 years in both academics and international cooperation for sustainable development.


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