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Innovation, Transformation and Resilience for Sustainable Development

Capacity development course for innovation in Africa

From 2022–2025, Lund University will deliver four iterations of this capacity development course as part of a larger project to strengthen the development and use of science, technology, and innovation (STI) innovators in Africa. The course ultimately aims to contribute to the continental vision known as Agenda 2063, ‘The Africa We Want’.

Tree root system. Photo.
As part of a four-year agreement with Sida, LU will deliver four iterations of the course ‘Innovation, Transformation and Resilience for Sustainable Development’ for public officials engaged in innovation policy and management.

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About the course

Why and how have some developing countries been able to set in motion catching-up processes while others remain stagnant or even fall behind?

The course examines key aspects of these processes and explores the role of innovation in transforming the economy and increasing social resilience over the long-term process of sustainable development in a low-income country context. Importantly, the course participants will apply historical and theoretical understanding to their current contexts across Africa, identifying policies and public investments that combine support for both innovation and sustainable development.

The course is taught by experts at the Department of Economic History at the Lund University School of Economics and Management, who are looking forward not only to teaching but also to exchange with course participants, innovation sector experts in African countries.

The participants

The course is offered to:

  • professionals engaged in the initiative African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (ASTII) and/or innovation policy and management
  • mid-to upper-level public officials across Africa
  • participants ideally between the ages of 30 and 55

Applicants from low-income countries are especially encouraged to apply. The course also strives for gender-balanced participation.

Course format

The first iteration of the course begins with a month-long online introduction in April 2022 with lectures, reading, and short assignments. After this, we welcome participants to Sweden from 9 May 2022 to 3 June 2022 for intense weeks of seminars and group work in Lund, and a visit to Stockholm to meet key people involved in the Swedish Innovation System.

The course concludes with an oral exam and a final individual paper, to be discussed at an online seminar after the participants return home. With a passing grade on the final examination, participants receive a diploma and 7.5 ETCS credits.

Background to the course

Innovation and innovation practices are vital to resilient, sustainable development. With this in mind, AUDA-NEPAD has driven forward the African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (ASTII) Initiative since 2007. This multi-phase project, now at the beginning of the fourth phase (2022–2025), aims to revitalise the in-country capability of senior officials to:

  • Develop and promote the adoption of internationally compatible STI indicators;
  • Build human and institutional capacities for STI indicators and related surveys;
  • Enable African countries to participate in international programmes for STI indicators; and
  • Inform African countries on the state of STI in Africa.

The course contributes to one of the goals of the ASTII project: to produce a community of best practice with 80 trained officials by 2025, who together work to improve Africa’s National Innovation Systems. Each course cohort comprises 20 professionals across Africa who will gain specialised knowledge of the role of innovation in resilience and sustainable development. Course alumni will be valued members of this community with network opportunities across Africa and with institutions involved in the Swedish Innovation System.

Course partners

The course is delivered with support by the Lund University Department of Commissioned Education and financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD).

More information about the course