The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved on October 21, 2015, a loan of US $90 million for the Republic of Angola to finance a Science and Technology Development project to contribute to the diversification of the economy through research and development in agro-industry, biotechnology and health, energy, information and communication technologies, nanotechnology and mechatronics.
In addition to building and equipping a world-class science and technology park in Mabubas, the project will also: provide 155 scholarships to train researchers, of which 55% will be given to women scholars; fund 40 research projects to support Angolan researchers with innovative project ideas; support the participation of women in science; develop skills in science and technology within secondary schools to both students and teachers; as well as build the capacity of intellectual property system in Angola.
“Mabubas Science and Technology Park, strategically located near the future Bara do Dande Harbour and the Special Economic Zone between Luanda and Bengo, will greatly contribute to industrial development, competitiveness, innovation, and job creation,” said Sunita Pitamber, AfDB’s Acting Director for Human Development.
The park is expected to serve the needs of young Angolan entrepreneurs and businesses alike through training and research and development within industrial incubators.
Given the importance of public funds allocated to the development of science, technology and innovation (STI), the project places special emphasis on value for money. As such an information system to assess the results of public programs in STI will be put in place to determine their impact on enterprise and job creation.
“The development of this project was exemplary in its collaboration and agreed actions between different line ministries and has received the full support of the private sector in Angola, which significantly increases its chances to be inclusive and sustainable,” said Septime Martin, AfDB Resident Representative in Angola.
This project is part of the implementation of Angola’s National Policy for Science, Technology and Innovation and is aligned with the National Development Plan. It is also fully aligned with the AfDB’s Strategy 2013-2022, on skills human capital and gender.