Bioeconomy World Regions: Africa


Parallel Workshops I, 19th April, 11:35 - 13:35 / Track: "Bioeconomy of World Regions"



  • Jan Börner, Professor, University Bonn
  • Julius Ecuru, Head, BioInnovate Africa Programme
  • Fabio Fava, Professor, University Bologna



  • Nicholas Ozor, IAC 2015, African Technology Policy Studies Network, Kenya



The aim of this interactive workshop on the bioeconomy region of Africa is to create an engaging platform to discuss strategies for bioeconomy development in Africa and to highlight opportunities for international collaboration in bioeconomy development. Topical questions include: what are the challenges involved from a regional perspective? And what are potential starting points for a deepened cooperation between European and African bioeconomy regions? Broadening our perspective, we also aim to address challenges and opportunities for integrating African bioeconomy regions into a global bioeconomy while using the SDGs as global sustainability safeguards.


Topic cluster 1: African concepts of bioeconomy, national and macro-regional strategies, and SDG;
Topic cluster 2: Opportunities and challenges for bioeconomic transformation in Africa;
Topic cluster 3: Integration of African bioeconomies in the global context and implications for achieving the SDG

  1. A short introduction including presentations of initiatives (Julius Ecuru, Fabio Fava, Jan Börner); (5 min each)
  2. speed talks, 2 on each topic cluster (5-7 min each);
  3. Group discussion (round table format): 3 groups, 1 per topic cluster, around a set of guiding questions (30 min);
  4. Short presentations of discussion results by the three group moderators (or elected representative) and plenary discussion (30 min)


Guiding questions for group discussions

  1. Region specific: What is the understanding of bioeconomy concepts and what are the strategies in African countries?
  2. What is the unmet bioeconomical potential to achieve SDGs in the region and how do policy strategies in African countries consider SDGs?
  3. Region specific: What are the challenges in African countries concerning the development of bioeconomies (science policy, resource competition, jobs, potential winners and losers)
  4. Region specific: What are the opportunities for collaboration within Africa, incl. private sector innovations? In addition, what potential arises from the development of synergies between life sciences and digitization?
  5. Global perspective: How to achieve a successful integration into global value chains and how to foster cooperation with other world regions in the global bioeconomy?



  • Angelo Riccaboni, President of PRIMA initiative
  • Jan Janosch Förster, Senior Researcher, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF), STRIVE project
  • Diuto Esiobu, President / CEO Applied Biotech Inc USA/ Int Nigeria Ltd.
  • Kassahun Tesfaye, Director General of the Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute Sigi Gruber - Head of Unit- EU Commission, Brussels
  • Peggy Oti Boateng, Senior Programme Specialist for Science and Technology for Africa and the Coordinator for the African Network of Scientific and Technological Institutions (ANSTI)
  • Moderator speed talks
    Paul Mungeyi, Manager Biotechnology National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST)
  • Moderator group discussion, cluster 1
    Philippe Mengal
    , Executive Director of the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU)
  • Moderator group discussion, cluster 2
    Ivar Virgin
    , Stockholm Environment Institute
  • Moderator group discussion, cluster 3
    Holger Hoff
    , Senior scientist at SEI and PIK, with focus on integrated resource management, footprints, global responsibility along supply chains, and planetary boundaries