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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) indicators in Africa. The course ultimately aims to contribute to the continental vision known as Agenda 2063, ‘The Africa We Want’.

Smiling students in class. Photo.
Course participants at one of the first lectures at LUSEM. Photo. Johan Persson

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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 exchanging with course participants, and innovation sector experts in African countries.

Quotes from previous participants

The Programme helped me to understand exactly what the national innovation system is, and how it is linked to the development of a country. It also helped me to understand the role of STI indicators in building evidence-based policies that are good for a well-functioning innovation system.

The experience was priceless, which textbooks cannot offer.

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 third iteration of the course begins with an online introduction in April 2024 with lectures, reading, and short assignments. After this, we welcome participants to Sweden from 13 May 2024 to 30 May 2024 for intense weeks of seminars and group work in Lund.

The course concludes with a final individual paper after the participants return home. With a passing grade on the final examination, participants receive a diploma and 7.5 ETCS credits.

The course is closed for applications. The next call will be in September 2024. 

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

Course documents


Testimonials from participants

Contact information

Project team:
transformation [at] education [dot] lu [dot] se (transformation[at]education[dot]lu[dot]se)