CEN and CENELEC to speak at the Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Summit 2021

The Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Summit, organized by AERAP (the African-European Science Collaboration Astronomy Platform), will be held virtually from June 14 to June 18, 2021.  Within the content of this Summit, CEN and CENELEC, two of the official European Standardization Organizations, will present the dedicated session “Standards - Supporting innovation in Africa - How do standards foster innovation and economic prosperity?” on 17 June.

The summit is an important occasion to discuss innovation and science cooperation in Africa: over the past decade, Africa experienced rapid economic growth. While momentum is widely recognised, longer-term growth depends on sustained investment in an innovative workforce to advance a knowledge economy. Currently the scientific workforce deficits are acute. However, there are compelling grounds for optimism as public and private sectors ramp up scientific investment in the coming years. Fortunately, scientific innovation in Africa is on the rise.


The Strategic Plan 2020-24 – Research and Innovation of the European Commission stresses the importance of International STI Cooperation. The plan highlights the importance of collaborative research and innovation initiatives, including the Horizon Europe Missions and the European Partnerships. The June summit will promote discussion on advancing synergies between Horizon Europe and Neighbourhood, Development, and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) and other EU and Member State support measures the need for Africa-Europe science cooperation presented by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

In this context, CEN and CENELEC’s event will explore the role of standards, with the participation of high-level speakers from, among others, the WTO, the African Union, the European Commission, regional standards bodies and the industry.  Standards serve as a catalyst for innovation and help in anchoring solutions more quickly on the market. In today’s networked world clearly defined interfaces and compatibility between individual components and systems is now more important than ever. Standards are the global language of technology, reduce technical trade barriers and facilitate the free movement of goods. Standards open doors to promote exports. 


David Bell, Chair of CEN and CENELEC Task Force Africa, CENELEC Board Member and Director of Standards Policy at BSI, commented on the event: “Consensus and standards underpin how markets work. They play an important role in framing new products and services, supporting collective innovation which helps innovators grow their impact.”


If you wish to attend this or any other sessions during this summit, please register at this link. The registration is free, enabling you to select those sessions you wish to attend.

More information on the session can be found here:

17 June 13.00-15.00 CEST

Standards - Supporting innovation in Africa - How do standards foster innovation and economic prosperity?

Opening: TBT Code of Good Practice - Mr Erik Wijkström, WTO Secretariat TBT Committee

Moderator introduction, signposting & opening with the key question

Moderator: Mr Sean Woolfrey, ECDPM

Panel discussion

Regional Authorities

Africa’s ambitions on innovation, QI and creating the African single market as part of Agenda 2063

Dr. Oswald Chinyamakobvu, Senior Technical Advisor, Department of Economic development, Trade, Industry and Mining, African Union Commission (AUC)

The role of standards in fostering economic prosperity and trade

Mr Gwenole Cozigou, Director, Directorate General Grow, European Commission

Regional Standards Bodies

Decentralisation to centralisation – The role of standards and QI in the functioning of the European single market

Mr David Bell, Convenor CEN-CENELEC TF Africa

The Africa Quality Policy – harmonising QI implementation in Africa

Dr Hermogene Nsengimana, Director General ARSO

Representation of business operating in the EU and Africa

Cybersecurity standards innovating global value chains

Mr Johan Eksteen, Chair JTC1 South African Bureau of Standards, Senior Director- International Standards, Microsoft Corporation



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