Ethiopia: Commissioner Potocnick briefed on African Union activities

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European Union (EU) Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potocnick, paid a visit to African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the framework of the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership signed by the African Union (AU) and the EU at the Lisbon Summit in December 2007.

Commissioner Potocnick had a meeting with the AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology to discuss the ongoing partnership on science and technology, Mr Jean Pierre Ezin. They reviewed the major fields of cooperation and focused on space research, earth science, environment monitoring as well as peace building partnership. To this regard, Commissioner Potocnick has been briefed on the Department of Peace and Security Continental Early Warning System (CEWS).

The visit focused as well on the role played by High Tech in monitoring environment and climate change. The EU Delegation visited, in this regard, the African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD), a programme dedicated to sustainable management of natural resources in AU regions. Commissioner Potocnick said: “I’m really happy to be here today to promote the implementation of the AU-EU Partnership on Science and Technology. Science is key to address development issues. By partnering with Africa, the EU supports African science and research capacity building”.

During the EU Delegation visit, the AU will present the first African woman scientific researchers Award. Commissioner Ezin recalled that Africa is not yet fully committed in promoting women in the field of science. Thus, there is need to increase participation of women in high level science and research in Africa. Two African women for country will receive a 5000 USD grant. During the ceremony, the first call for research proposals for Africa will be launched. Funded by the EU, 63 million Euros will be allocated for research on health, food and water security and environment, topics identified by the AU Member States, Commissioner Potocnick reminded.

The First African woman scientific researchers Award will be presented tomorrow, Wednesday, September 9th, 2009, at AU Headquarters at 10h00. The ceremony will be followed by a press conference chaired by Commissioners Ezin and Potocnick at 13h00. Journalists are invited to cover the event.

Source: African Union Commission (AUC)

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