African Union (AU) Commission Deputy Chairperson Kwesi Quartey on Tuesday called for concerted efforts in harnessing science and technology to transform societies in Africa.
Quartey made the remarks during his meeting with the Director of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Centre Mario Pezzini at the headquarters of the pan African bloc in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, an AU statement said.
During his talks with Pezzini, Quartey also acknowledged the importance of advancing the collaboration between the African Union and the OECD Development Centre, particularly on issues relating to research and statistics in Africa.
According to Quartey, the priority focus of the AU Commission, among other things, includes harnessing the role of science and technology in Africa with a view to transforming the lives of people living in the continent.
He also noted the positive progresses registered in the integration of Africa, mainly with the signing and ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and the protocol on free movement of persons, by a considerable number of AU member states.
Quartey also underscored the imperative to collaborate with well-established institutions such as the OECD Development Centre in order to attain the desired goals of Agenda 2063, AU's flagship 50-year continental development agenda.
He also called on the center to support the African Union with programs "that will lead to the realization of equitable and inclusive socio-economic transformation and development of the continent."
Issues related to AU's theme for the year 2019, "Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Toward Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa," were also said to be on the spotlight as the African Union and OECD Development Centre aspire to augment their ties, it was noted.