UNCTAD announces agriculture and energy tech assessment project in Africa

During the Science Forum South Africa 2020, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) unveiled its new technology assessment project that will be rolled out in key African countries with special focus on the agricultural and energy sectors. The project, which will start in early 2021, will be led by the UNCTAD with substantive and logistical support from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). UNCTAD logistics and technology director Shamika N. Sirimanne explained that ‘the project will support countries in considering appropriate methodologies for conducting technology assessments to solve sustainable development challenges in a manner that is constructive and inclusive of community-level participation, including women and marginalized groups’. One of the first countries that will take part in this project is South Africa. ‘In South Africa, we are still struggling to attain basic service provision for the whole of society. Inequality in areas such as electricity access is a problem. Electricity is largely produced from coal and is unaffordable to many. We hope that a technology assessment will enable us to determine how to adopt new technologies to ensure clean and affordable energy for all,’ stated. Mmampei Chaba from the Department of Science and Innovation.