Mar 28, 2014 Old News

The 2014 IASP Africa Division Conference Comes to Botswana

Botswana Innovation Hub in association with the Southern Africa Innovation Support (SAIS) programme will host the 2014 International Association of Science Parks (IASP) and Areas of Innovation (AI) Africa Division Conference from the 9th to the 11th April, 2014 at Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC). IASP is the worldwide network of science parks and areas of innovation with over 388 members in 71 countries. The conference will bring together leaders, experts, and professionals from Science and Technology Parks, areas of innovation, technology-based incubators, (all collectively referred to as STPs & AIs) academia, the public sector and businesses.


The theme of the conference is, ‘Science and Technology Parks (STP’s) expanding economic frontiers in Africa.’ The conference has three sub-themes, the first being Science Parks and Economic Diversification which will discuss the role STP’s play in addressing job creation and socio-economic challenges. The second sub-theme, Africa and Innovation, will discuss the challenges in the continent that science, technology and innovation can and is addressing. The final sub-theme, Science, Technology and Sustainable Development will discuss the role of STP’s and AI’s in sustainable development, with particular emphasis on sustainable energy production, water conservation, waste management, service delivery and productivity in Africa.


The major objective of the conference is to discuss and debate in depth the trends in STPs and AIs across Africa and the world as increasingly complex structures for professional innovation support, helping to achieve local and regional economic development objectives.


The conference will be officially opened by the Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Hon. Johnie K. Swartz and will be addressed by the Director General of IASP, Luiz Sanz, the Africa Division President of IASP and CEO of South Africa Innovation Hub McLean Sibanda and delegates from Nigeria (Abuja Science Park Village), Morocco (Techno Park), Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Spain and many others.


It is as well of great importance to mention that key players in the creation of the local innovation ecosystem will participate in the conference. The local participation spans the academic, business and government spheres of the science, technology and innovation landscape. Some key local participants are Hon. MP Odirile Motlhale, Chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Technology; Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BUIST) Vice Chancellor, Professor Hilary Inyang; Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) President Lekwalo Mosienyane and UNDP Resident Coordinator Anders Pederson.


The three day conference will be preceded by a Pre-Conference Training with a youth and technology entrepreneurship startup focus. The workshop will address issues around Business Incubation and Acceleration as well as Financing Technology Startups and Protection of Intellectual Property. Also factored into the training programme is an exciting module on how to slay the Dragon, which deals with real life examples on what makes a bankable business proposal.


The IASP Africa Division Conference kicks off with a welcome reception for registered delegates on the evening of the 9th April, and then the main conference proceedings on the 10th April and culminated by a gala dinner at the Phakalane Golf Estate on the 10th April. The conference will end on the 11th April at 13h00. Tours to the technology business incubation facility, First Steps Venture Centre, will be arranged for 11th


By Tigele Mokobi