He called for collective efforts in achieving ECOWAS’s Science and Technology targets.
He said though Africa has not been able to meet the target of harnessing science technology and innovation to boost economic growth; the commitment of every African government committing one per cent of GDP for research and development, good efforts are being made to achieve that.
The training, is jointly organised by INCONTACT 2020 and CAAST–Net, in collaboration with Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
The training would train National Contact Points in West and Central Africa and cover information session of Horizon 2020.
Mr Ayariga explained that “the fact Europe has included Africa in the Horizon 2020 programme gives credence to the level of commitment of Europe to the fulfillment of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, which was launched in 2007 to address challenges of mutual concerns.
Mr Bart Missinne First Secretary of the EU said the support of research is a core part of the broader EU-Ghana cooperation and the EU in the coming six years of the project, implement community research programmes.
These programmes would include environment, climate change, agriculture and many more to targeting the development of local capacities and contents.
Ms Stephane Hogan, Science Counsellor of the EU Delegation to the Africa Union expressed the concern that African participation has not been high due to the shift to fund more innovation- oriented research and development to the detriment of international cooperation with developing countries.
She attributed this to lack of access to information, finding partners and understanding the application process, adding, “The EU has therefore set up initiatives such as the CAAST-Net and INCONTACT to offer information and training for networking opportunities”.
The Director-General of CSIR, Dr Victor K. Agyeman who presided acknowledged the importance of research and innovation to development.
He therefore called for more awareness creation on the Horizon 2020 to increase the participation of more Africans in the programme.
CAAST-Net is a network of 26 partners based in Africa and Europe seeking to strengthen cooperation in research and innovation between the two regions; to more effectively tackle global challenges of health, food, security and climate change.
Horizon 2020 is the EU’s funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of 80 billion Euros for a period of seven years starting from 2014 to 2020.
Horizon 2020 is built on three pillars - excellent science, industrial leadership and societal challenge.