The GSTS is pleased to invite submissions of papers for the conference to be held in Mekelle, 18-22 July 2018.

The conference is organized under five themes.

(1) Comparative and Absolute Advantages of Tigray: Identifying Key Development Opportunities and Challenges:

The sub-themes include: History and language matters; The geopolitical dynamics in the Horn of Africa and its implication to Tigray (Ethio-Eritrea border, the Red Sea coast and the recent inter-ethnic relations in Ethiopia); Recent socioeconomic developments and challenges; Comparative and absolute advantages of Tigray.

(2) Boosting Technological and Sectoral Capability in Tigray (Education, research and innovation; Civil service capacity; Health care services, Tourism, Urbanization, and Manufacturing/Investment etc.).

The sub-themes include: Navigating educational policies, practices and their contribution to the development endeavour of Tigray; Lessons from other countries and regions on education and health policies and services; Strengthening the STEM/STEAM of Tigray-based schools, colleges, and universities; The role of “Quad-helix” model in improving education and health care services and tackling pandemic related challenges; Boosting research, innovation and financing; the role of e-health and ICT.

(3) Boosting Enabling Technologies and Building Economic and Innovation Zones in Tigray (Emerging technologies; Industrial and agro-processing parks; Special economic zones, Entrepreneurship).

The sub-themes include: Lessons from other countries on the effective application of new and emerging technologies for development (material science, energy technologies, nanotechnology, biotechnology, Information and communication technologies (ICTs) and data); Experiences and lessons in developing industrial and agro-processing parks; Facilitating Industrialization and manufacturing capacity; Developing knowledge hubs including indigenous knowledge, science/technology parks, central research hubs/institutes; Smart cities and villages.

(4) Agricultural Transformation, Poverty reduction, Youth Employment and Women Empowerment (Agricultural and rural transformation; Land restoration; Youth employment and migration; Women empowerment etc.).

The sub-themes include: How to modernize the agricultural sector; The state of agriculture in Tigray and how to speed up successful agricultural transformation; Enhancing integrated and knowledge based restoration of degraded landscapes, Environment protection; Exploring the policy options for promoting non-farm rural economic activities; The role of “Quad-helix” model in boosting agricultural productivity (e.g. through government and industry supported research); The creation of well-paying, formal sector and productive employment opportunities to absorb the youth; Reducing youth migration; Gender, development and women empowerment.

(5) Tapping into the Scholars and Diaspora Knowledge: Scholars and Diaspora Knowledge Networks, Engagement and Connections.

The sub-themes include: Assessing global experiences, lessons learned and strategies to tap the potentialities of diaspora scholars and diaspora networks and implication for effective networking; Designing enabling policies and reforms to tap the huge potential of Tigrean scholars and diaspora; Centring Tigrean scholars and diaspora to the development processes of Tigray through networking and joint forums; Engaging scholars and diaspora in the knowledge development and translation of gained skills into the development endeavours of Tigray; Making Tigray a centre of gravity and destination of intellectuals and entrepreneurs.