CAAST-Net is a five-year joint Africa-Europe platform dedicated to advancing bi-regional cooperation in science and technology.
The Joint Africa-EU Strategic Partnership, endorsed at the December 2007 Summit in Lisbon, is a political vision and roadmap for the future cooperation between the two continents in existing and new areas. Cooperation between Europe and Africa in the field of science and technology, with its long and multifaceted history, is one of the pillars supporting the increasingly diverse relationship between our two continents and is a strand running both explicitly and implicitly through the joint strategy and its first action plan.
Against the background of a global consensus that indigenous capacity in science and technology is an essential pre-requisite to economic competitiveness, sustainable development and poverty reduction, the Network for the Coordination and Advancement of sub-Saharan Africa-EU Science & Technology Cooperation (CAAST-Net) has been developed as a high-level platform, financed by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), to advance international cooperation between Europe and Africa for mutual benefit.
CAAST-Net's goal is an increase in the quality and quantity of bi-regional cooperation in science and technology between Europe and Africa, targeting areas of mutual interest and benefit through greater use of instruments under the FP7, as well as through other instruments of international cooperation, and through lobbying for greater synergy between R&D and development instruments.
In support of its goal, CAAST-Net has a range of activity clusters aiming:
- To support and inform existing Europe-Africa S&T policy dialogue and cooperation processes.
- To identify and prioritise common research areas of mutual interest and benefit, especially for inclusion in the thematic priorities of the FP7 Cooperation Programme, harnessing cooperation to address specific problems faced locally and regionally within Africa, as well as common problems of a global nature.
- To promote synergy between Europe-Africa S&T partnerships and development cooperation instruments in order to enhance the creation and application of new knowledge in support of achieving the MDGs, poverty alleviation and economic growth.
- To undertake specific activities dedicated to strengthening of the participation of African countries in the Framework Programme through a series of events aimed at raising awareness, providing information, brokering partnerships and optimising synergies.
- To monitor the performance and impact of Europe-Africa S&T cooperation under the Framework Programme to inform future cooperation policy.