Africa should aim to domesticate and democratise technology by focusing on an indigenous capacity for science, technology and innovation to address present and future problems.

That is the word from Cristina Duarte, candidate for president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), speaking on the occasion of yesterday’s Africa Day celebrations.

She adds that the African Development Bank (AfDB) is well positioned to give Africa the needed boost to reach the “promised land”, and calls on all stakeholders, including outside partners of the bank, to play a more coordinated and effective role in coming up with practical ideas, actions and proposals aimed at fostering Africa’s development.

Duarte additionally called for the consideration of three ideas.

“I call for the building of ecosystems within the continent that promotes innovation that could include various aspects such as innovation awards, fund for research, industrial attachments, links between academics, policy makers, entrepreneurs, and innovators. The ultimate objective for Africa is to domesticate and democratise technology as a result of a sustained effort to develop and upgrade our capacity throughout the continent focusing on Africa’s indigenous capacity for science, technology and innovation to address our present and future problems.

“I call for the institution of a Prize For Women, to be named after an African Woman who made a decisive contribution to the continent’s march,” she adds. “Such a prize may, after consultation with relevant people, be named for instance after a respected African woman, including those who passed away, as long as they have a legacy worthy to be celebrated.

“I call on African institutions, working with African states and their outside partners, to ensure that the continent’s natural resources and manufactured goods carry more local value-added while reducing the imbalances in the value-chain detrimental so far to Africa.”