Brussels, 13 September 2021/OACPS: The Gambia is to benefit from technical assistance in the framework of the Policy Support Facility (PSF) of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), to set up and operationalise a national Innovation Fund to foster a creative, self-reliant and knowledge-based society for sustained socio-economic growth.

On the request of the Gambian Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST), an online technical meeting was held last month to mark the start of the PSF service.

The National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (NSTIP, 2015-2024), which is at present under review, seeks to better promote innovation and improve its performance in key sectors such as education, health, agriculture and fisheries (prioritized by the National Development Plan 2018-2021), to enhance its dynamics and accelerate sustainable development.

The PSF service will be carried out by an international panel of experts who will actively collaborate with the national team of The Gambia and the PSF team (OACPS Research and Innovation [R&I] team), over a period of six months.

The National Innovation Fund will contribute to:

  • Assisting The Gambia to become innovative and creative, and to be a global player in sustainable technologies by scouting, spawning and sustaining grassroots innovations;
  • Synergising the national R&I system and promoting open science and innovation, through partnerships among government, academia, industry and civil society;
  • Increasing private sector investment in innovative projects for better competitiveness and efficiency (notably of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises [MSMEs])
  • Promoting the implementation of scientific and technological innovations;
  • Improving inclusiveness (gender equality in areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Indigenous Knowledge Systems)
  • Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the objectives of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa-2024 (STISA-2024) and Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.

A country background report is being prepared in advance of the field mission by the Expert Panel, scheduled in October.

More Information on the PSF:

Launched in January 2021, the PSF is one of the components of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) Research and Innovation Programme, implemented by the Secretariat of the OACPS and funded by the European Union (EU). The Programme has a three-pronged approach to unlock innovation potential in the 79 Members of the OACPS:

  • PSF to enhance the quality of R&! policies and systems
  • Innovation Fund to foster a conducive R&! environment, and
  • Web portal to cross-fertilise knowledge and experiences between R&I actors.