Tigrai- Grand Conference-2018 in Tigrai
Quo vadis Tigrai?
“Quad-Helix as a Vector for Building Knowledge-based Economy and Society in Tigrai”
Note: This document contains the broad tracks/themes as well as the specific issues that will be addressed during the Tigrai- Grand Conference to be held in Mekelle, in August 2018. The document is still in a draft format and will be reviewed further and endorsed by the three Committees that are currently being established. These are: the International Advisory Committee, the Technical/scientific Committee and the Conference Organizing Committee.
The primary objective of the Tigrai- Grand Conference is to take stock of recent developments, identify opportunities for further development and assess the challenges faced by policy-makers in the region and the corrective measures to be taken. Moreover, it will serve as a platform to establish a new dynamism on the collaborative work of the quad-helix partners to enhance the overall and sustainable development of the region. While Ethiopia is a federal state, each region has policy autonomy which is ensured by the constitution. The Grand Conference will map out policy options, including by identifying lessons to be learned from other countries or regions, for consideration by key stakeholders in Tigrai. In the last two decades, Ethiopia has experienced high-level of growth and structural change unprecedent in recent history. Despite severe resource constraints and low skills-base, the Tigrai region has been able to transform its agricultural sector, introduce effective land restoration policy as witnessed by the recent “Oscar for best policies award” and remove a significant proportion of its population from extreme poverty. Tremendous progress has also been made in creating opportunities for learning and education, improving public-health services and connecting people through construction of roads and related infrastructures. There are now four Universities in the region where there were none before. The question is what else should Tigrai do to build on achievements to date? Hence the fundamental question addressed by the Grand Conference will be Quo vadis Tigrai (where is Tigrai heading to)?
In line with the key priorities of the current national Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) II and the desire of the Tigrai region to build knowledge-based economy and society, there is likely to be increasing demand for effective middle and high level human resources, a steady progress in technological learning and innovation and effective collaboration among key stakeholders in the region, in particular, the regional government; the business community; academia (universities, scholars,…) and non-governmental organizations/media. Stronger relationship among these four stakeholders (the “Quad-Helix”) is an essential prerequisite for advancing the knowledge, economic and social agendas of the region on short and long-term perspectives. Following this logic, the Tigrai-Grand Conference will give greater emphasis to knowledge-based issues while, at the same time, addressing important economic and social issues that are necessary and important for development and economic transformation of the region/country. After all, in highly interdependent and knowledge-driven global economy, the processes of economic development and knowledge-development are inextricably linked and progress can only be met by pursuing both sets of goals together.
In preparation for the First Tigrai-Grand Conference-2018, extensive consultations have been conducted, among key stakeholders, on the priority sectors or thematic areas that the Conference should address. The response was encouraging and many different ideas were proposed. In this respect, the feedback received from policy-makers and other stakeholders in Tigrai region was particularly useful in pinpointing the most urgent thematic areas that the Conference should discuss and find possible solutions to perceived challenges. This programme includes the key issues that are regarded as critical and exigent. The discussions in various sessions will be guided by two basic principles:
First, the role that the “Quad-helix” can play in promoting the sectoral or thematic areas under consideration, for example, in education, health, agriculture, youth employment, women empowerment, manufacturing/ industrialization, knowledge, capital etc.; and Second, the lessons that Tigrai can learn from the successful experiences and best practices in other countries or regions in other countries.
Conference Goals and Objectives
The overall goal of the conference is to seek a well-functioning quadrilateral relationship among the four sectors with all-inclusive consideration of the natural resource management/environment sector with the goal of creating a knowledge-driven economy in Tigrai by 2030, in line with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of UN-2030.
The specific objectives of the conference include:
- Developing indicators of successful actual interactions among the four parties and the natural resource management/environment and identifying the specific actors within each sector
- Identification of the absolute and comparative advantage as well as gaps and challenges of Tigrai nationally and globally
- Developing a list of successful outcomes of the interactions in the quadruple helix relationship
- Establishing a model of sustainable relationships between the four sectors based on planned interaction and goal of achieving a knowledge-driven society as well as economy
- Determining the drivers of the interaction by focusing on how the interaction will evolve over time and thereby applied in the perspective of the region
Mode of organization and deliberations
The Conference will take place over a period of four days. As shown in the ‘tentative’ programme, each day will focus on a Theme or Track identifying broadly defined and prioritized areas of concern. Each Track will have a number of sessions each addressing different but inter-related issues, including through parallel meetings or roundtables as appropriate. The number of parallel meetings or roundtables will be decided later, by the technical committee in consultation with the international advisory board. Similarly, the Committee will consider and decide on whether to hold a plenary meeting or not, posters, publicity and the number of keynote speakers, invited speakers, including among those who submitted papers for presentation and are accepted. It is envisaged also that the last day (Day 5) will be devoted to identifying ‘concrete’ and ‘actionable’ outcomes and ‘deliverables’ to be implemented by appropriate bodies following the Conference.
Planned Pre-, during and post-conference organization and activities
Currently the committees needed to make the Conference a success are being established and membership of the committee will be determined by a number of factors such as geographical location, experience, areas of expertize etc. Three Committees, whose Term of Reference will be developed soon, will be established:
- Organizing Committee: responsible for all logistical, procedural, publicity, and other preparatory-related responsibilities, including by liaising with the relevant authorities in Tigrai and other stakeholders. This will include both international and Ethiopia/Tigrai based committees. Read below, at the end of this article, list of Organizing Committee.
- Scientific Committee: responsible for all technical and substantive-related tasks and decisions regarding the programme, the sequencing of sessions or presentations, contacting and selection of presenters as well as moderators/panellists, identifying and approaching potential plenary and keynote speakers, etc. The scientific/technical committee will work in close consultation with the international advisory and organizing committees.
- International Advisory Committee: responsible for any high level advisory support required by the Scientific Committee and the organizing Committee. The International Advisory committee will also have an additional responsibility of preparing, through consultations, the Terms of Reference (ToR) and working modality for the “Tigrai- Grand Conference Board” to be established during the Conference in 2018 in Mekelle, Tigrai.
II. During the Conference
The organizing Committee and the Scientific Committees in consultation with the advisory board will prepare detailed guideline on the types of support and goodwill that will be required from the wider participants to make the Conference a success.
The Tigrai- Grand Conference 2018 is not planned as a one-off Conference but as a regular biennium Forum to bring Tigraian scholars as well as other Tigraians from different fields to brainstorm and explore how the Tigraian region can move the growth and transformation agenda as well as SDGs forward. Therefore, the Conference is envisaged as forward-looking and action-oriented regular forum that will bring Tigraians together to address the development prospects and challenges of their region. Like many new initiatives, the first event is important and could determine whether the Tigrai- Grand Conference idea has a future or not. Therefore, it will depend on all concerned to make sure that the first Conference in August 2018 is a success and sets in motion a new approach to thinking about development agenda. Hence, a number of action plan indicators will also be prepared as a mechanism to implement post conference deliverables.
In addition to the 4-day main conference event, dedicated visits to development areas in Tigrai will be organized. This may take place during the international festival of Tigrian Diasporas, which will take place in Mekelle, just before the Tigrai- Grand Conference in August 2018. After the conference, other events could be organized with universities, such as presentations on specific topics, training, mentoring, networking with lecturers and students, etc..
Proposed Tracks and Sessions
Track 1: Comparative and Absolute Advantages of Tigrai: Identifying Key Development Opportunities and Challenges
The main objectives of Track 1 are four-fold:
a) to set the tone for the rest of the Conference by explaining the purpose of the Tigrai- Grand Conference, its genesis, expected outcomes and long-term vision;
b) to recap the historical context in which the current development trajectory is taking place, in particular the struggles, dreams and sacrifices that helped to set the recent growth and development momentum in motion;
c) to put current growth in perspective by taking stock of development activities, achievements and challenges to date
d) to map out the comparative and absolute advantages of Tigrai and identify the specific sectors or economic activities where opportunities for development exist and the actual and potential challenges faced in promoting development in Tigrai, including the potential for creating a stronger “Quad-helix” in Tigrai region.
Session 1: Opening remarks: Conference objectives and expected outcomes
Selected speakers will make short statements setting the tone for the rest of the Conference, including expectations, expected outcomes and program details etc
Session 2: History and language matters: “Life is lived forward but understood backward” (An African proverb).
The purpose of this short session (not more than 1hr) is to remind participants on the rich cultural, social and linguistic history of the Tigrai region, including the most recent courageous struggle for dignity and justice. The Tigrai region has its own written language-derived from Ge’ez – and some of the most treasured cultural and historical sites in Ethiopia. This has made tourism one of the comparative advantages of Tigrai. Thus, the objective of Session 2 is to serve as energizer and place the conference in the right historical context by reminding ourselves where we were? Where we are now? And where we want to be? Invited speakers will present the significant contributions made by Tigrai to Ethiopia’s past and current social and economic developments and the role that the region will continue to play in the national Growth and Transformation vision. This session will highlight, in particular, the importance of understanding our history, including the neglect and deprivation that the Tigrai region suffered in recent past and the sacrifices paid so that the current generation would build a vibrant and prosperous Tigrai.
Session 3: Taking stock of recent developments, achievements, challenges and gaps in Tigrai: situation report.
This session is dedicated to taking stock of achievements so far and the ongoing efforts to accelerate the development of Tigrai. Participants will learn from different officials representing different bureaux, the progress made to date in implementing GTP I and II and the specific challenges that Tigrai faces in the implementation of policies. This session will also give participants the opportunity to interact with the relevant officials and gain better understanding of the current state of play in Tigrai. In addition to the presentations from government officials, opportunities will be also given to a few invited scholars who have conducted research on recent developments in Tigrai, including on achievements to date and the challenges.
Session 4: Tapping Tigrai’s Comparative and Absolute advantages: opportunities and implementation challenges
There will be many scholars in Tigrai and/or abroad who have expertise in this subject matter and, therefore, in a position to participate as keynote speakers, lead panellists or discussants and present the lesson learned from recent experiences and new insights in the context of the Tigrai region. In short, the main objective of this session is to identify the sectors or areas where Tigrai has a comparative and absolute advantages and the potential for exploiting them and the measures that need to be taken to generate maximum impact on development and address the implementation challenges. Indeed, the most critical challenge in promoting development is not the formulation of policies – this can be prepared by a consultant if need be – but rather their effective implementation, which requires specialized skills, adequate resources, effective institutions, good governance and the ability to coordinate across key public institutions. The Tigrai region is not short of development plan or vision. The GTP II and the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) alone provide adequate direction on what needs to be done to promote sustainable development. The question is whether Tigrai possesses and utilizes the necessary and effective skills/human capital, institutional capacity, bureaucratic coherence and coordination mechanism to implement development policies? For example, if tourism industry is identified as one of the priority areas for development given Tigrai’s a comparative advantage in historical sites, then how is tourism being promoted? What has the regional government done to implement tourism sector development programme? What should be the role of the other stakeholders in quad-helix? Session 4 will address these issues through keynote address and presentation of accepted papers and by invited speakers. This will be followed by a Panel discussion consisting of 5 to 6 panellists, including representatives of the regional government, local academia and others.
Track 2: “Quad-Helix „model: an instrument for boosting technological and sectoral capability in Tigrai
Throughout history, knowledge and innovation have played central roles in the development of societies and economies. Indeed, with the rapid globalization in the last few decades and the concomitant technological revolution, particularly in Information and Communication technologies (ICTs), technological learning, acquiring knowledge-based production systems and building the capacity to innovate have become essential requirements for competitiveness, both accelerated and sustainable economic growth and social progress. In fact, in the current highly open international economic system and the dominance of Global Value Chains, it is no longer enough to have low-wages and unregulated labour market to attract investment and become competitive. Increasingly, the ability to learn and adapt fast and to innovate continuously have become even more important and indispensable for competitiveness regardless of the size of the enterprise and their location. It is difficult to envisage significant social and economic progress in Tigrai without meaningful improvement in the quality of education, research/innovation, the formation of relevant skills and the development of local technological capability, knowledge-based production system and the ability to innovate – both at enterprise level and through formal research and development institutions. Tigrai has now embarked on a development process that will increasingly demand knowledge-based inputs – either in the form of advanced technical skills or innovative capability. The focus of Track 2 is, therefore, to explore the options for advancing science, technology and innovation capabilities in Tigrai and the lessons that enterprises and institutions based in Tigrai can learn from the experiences of other countries or communities.
In addressing these issues, Track 2 will give special attention to “Quad –Helix” model, in particular the linkages and interactions between Universities – on the one hand – and local businesses, government institutions and NGOs on the other. Typically, Universities conduct research in diverse fields. The results are then developed into production processes or finished products in collaboration with local industry. This way, local universities create opportunities for technological adaptation, upgrading and innovative activities that are better suited for local needs and level of development. Do such R & D activities take place in Universities located in Tigrai? Similarly, is there strong evidence of University-Industry linkages? If the answer to this question is positive, then what else can be done to strengthen University-industry linkages? If the answer is negative, what are the obstacles and what policies and actions will help promote such linkages? Furthermore, what can be learned from the experiences of other countries in strengthening University-business linkages and the creation of a strong “Quad-Helix” relationship? In exploring these issues, Track 2 will focus on two thematic areas: a) Education, research and innovation; and b) Health care services and delivery.
Session 1: Education, research and innovation
In the last two decades, access to education (coverage) in the Tigrai region has increased by leaps and bounds and at a scale unprecedented in recent history. From primary school enrollement, to secondary school education and tertiary level learning, the number of places and opportunities available for young Tigraians has increased fast. It may be difficult to believe, but until recently, there was no University in Tigrai and the number of high-school facilities was only three for the region. Viewed from this perspective, the region has come a long way and will go even further in the coming decades. For this development, the credit goes to the Federal government of Ethiopia and the Tigrai regional Government for placing high premium on the value of education and skill formation and devoting the limited resources available on this sector. In conjunction with fast development of educational institutions, however, there is a need to pay closer attention to the quality of education and research and its compatibility with the skills needed to develop the region/country. This critical issue and the importance of quality of education and learning to the development of knowledge-based economy will be the focus of Session 1.
Through panel discussion and presentations, involving representatives from the Tigrai Bureau of Education, Tigrai based universities and experts from Tigrai and abroad, Session 1 will identify the challenges of maintaining quality in education and the measures necessary to improve standard, including by learning from the relevant experiences in other countries.
To narrow the focus of the discussion, the following thematic areas could be considered:
- Sharing experiences from other countries on how to improve the quality of education and research in Tigrai-based institutions and beyond
- Policy measures to match the ‘demand’ and ‘supply’ of the skills needed to promote knowledge-based economy
- The role of “Quad-helix”, in particular the regional government and Universities in providing opportunities for learning, research, innovation and the implications for quality of education and local entrepreneurship development.
- How to strengthen the STEM/STEAM of Tigrai-based schools, colleges, and university? What are the lessons that Tigrai can learn from other countries? How to cultivate talented youths and empower them via incentives to encourage research and innovation?
- The role of Science Parks or Centres as well regional research hubs as incubators of knowledge and promoters of innovative ideas and capabilities.
Session 2: Health care services and delivery
This session will focus on health and the health-related issues with a view to identifying policy lessons for improving the health care service and delivery provisions in Tigrai. Tigrai’s ability to thrive as a region is intricately linked to the health of its people. Having an educated and trained workforce may be important for development – but it is not sufficient: the primary concern should be the health and physical well-being of the population. Tigrai is a predominantely agrarian economy and nearly 80% of its population works and earns income from rural activities, mainly farming. Not surprisingly, a large proportion of the region’s domestic output originating from the same sector. Therefore, the greatest natural resource and comparative advantage of Tigrai is its people, and consequently, the region’s success depends on how it nurtures and cares for its people. For these reasons, Session 2 is devoted to health and health-related issues and the policy and other actions that the region should take to continuously improve health-care services in urban and rural areas. The session will be based on Panel discussion/presentation involving experts from the Tigrai Health Bureau, local Universities, the Tigraian Diaspora community or Tigraians working in Ethiopia.
Within the broad discussion of health-related issues, special attention could be paid to:
- Lessons from other countries and regions on health policies and public-health services.
- The role of “Quad-helix” model in improving health care services and tackling pandemic-related challenges.
- Boosting research and financing health service
- Health literacy and broadening public knowledge on health, including through active involvement of NGOs and universities;
- Health literacy on non-communicable diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer)
- The role of e-health and ICT in delivering health information to the public
Track 3. Boosting enabling technologies and building economic and innovation zones in Tigrai
Along with other regions in Ethiopia, Tigrai has benefited immensely from the double-digit growth rate that Ethiopia enjoyed for most part of the post-2000 period. The growth of agricultural productivity through knowledge-inputs and enabling technologies, in particular, has been instrumental in lifting a large proportion of the rural poor from extreme poverty. Incomes in rural areas have increased significantly and with improvement in productivity, less and and less people are needed to work in a given plot of land. This positive development, however, has led to increased rural-urban migration and the rise of unemployment in urban centers. If productive employment opportunities that pay ‘decent’ wages are not created, many of the unemployed, most of them young and in some cases with high level education, would languish working in the informal sector. With time, as it is happening already, they will try to migrate abroad or die trying. Providing ‘decent’ employment to working age citizens, especially the youth, is not only the right thing to do by itself, but also a major economic goal since putting people to work increases current and future income, consumption and investment – thereby setting a dynamic demand-supply-investment cycle. Furthermore, empowering people with knowledge and giving them work is the most humane and dignified way of reducing poverty. In this respect, the inauguration of the Mekelle Industrial Park in July 2017 is a welcome development. The Park – costing about $100 million – is expected to attract a large amount of Direct Foreign Investment (FDI) provide employment opportunities for nearly 20,000 people. The construction of the park is a significant development and symbolically a momentous occasion since it implies transfer of technology, learning through linkages, employment opportunities and also the direct integration of Tigrai into competitive external markets through Global Value chains. Industrial Parks, including innovation parks or zones could be effective instruments of skill and local technological capability-building, industrial development through backward linkages, local demand for goods and services through the wages they pay their employees and important source of government revenue through taxes. But, as the experiences of many other African countries have shown, these benefits do not occur automatically. They require active government policies, including at the regional level, in creating the right environment for foreign or local enterprises operating within the Park to create linkages with the local economy. This puts the onus of maximizing the benefits from the Park on all the key stakeholders in the region, which could be organized through the “Quad-helix” model. The timing of the Tigrai- Grand Conference provides an opportunity to explore how this model of partnership could be used to create an enabling environment for technological upgrading and innovation capability-building, including through the application of new and emerging technologies.
Session 1: Maximizing the impact of emerging technologies
This session will focus on new and emerging technologies and how Tigrai could maximize the gains from such technologies in support of its technological and economic development. Increasingly, emerging technologies are playing central roles in enabling countries to acquire advanced production capacities and improve human and social development through leapfrogging. In this respect, the role of Universities – as important partners within the “Quad-Helix” – will be crucial in conducting research and exploring ways in which the business community and the government could apply new and emerging technologies in pursuit of the knowledge-based economy agenda. The session will address how Tigrai could gain access to such technologies and apply them for maximum benefit. In doing so, it will give special attention to the following areas:
- Lessons from other countries on the effective application of new and emerging technologies for development
- Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Data
- Energy and environmental technologies
- Innovative and emerging technologies and their applications (for example, material science, nanotechnology, biotechnology, etc.)
Session 2: Industrial parks and special economic zones
Given the implications of the Mekelle Industrial Park, the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT) and intended plans of Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC) for development aspirations of Tigrai, it is timely and necessary that the Tigrai-Grand Conference devotes a special session on this important issue. There are, at least, three critical policy areas that the regional Government of Tigrai should consider with a view to gradually developing a policy framework – through consultations in the “Quad-helix” format – to maximize the positive impact of the Park on the local economy. First, it is crucial that the Park does not operate as an “enclave” geared towards production for export only, but without linkages with the local economy except through employment generation. Although, the creation of job opportunities should be supported and to be encouraged, Tigrai can gain more than low-wage jobs. Second, the potential for skill and technology transfer through linkages to the foreign firms operating within the park should be given greater attention. Universities in Tigrai should give this potential urgent attention working within the “Quad-helix” format. Third, often input-supply linkages between local industry and foreign firms in Industrial Parks do not take place because of lack of productive capacity in local enterprises, which is necessary to provide inputs that meet the quality requirements. In this situation, government support to local enterprises is needed to help them upgrade their capacity to produce and supply products that meet the required standards. The question, what can the regional Government does to upgrade the productive capacity among local enterprises? Are there lessons from other countries’ experience that are relevant for Tigrai? In addressing these questions, the session will pay special attention to the following issues:
- Industrial parks/Industrialization/Manufacturing
- Knowledge hubs, science/technology parks;
- Innovation districts, central research hubs;
- Indigenous knowledge;
- Smart cities and villages
Track 4: Agricultural transformation, youth employment, women empowerment and tapping the Diaspora knowledge
Nearly 80% of the Tigraian population (the majority under the age of 30) lives, works and earns income from the rural area. Nearly half of the workforces in rural areas consist of women. Therefore, it would be a serious ‘oversight’ if the Tigrai- Grand Conference does not address the rural development issue and the challenges that it poses for the poverty reduction and its implications for youth employment and emigration, women empowerment and the growth and sustainable development agenda. Track 4 will address these issues along with the role of highly skilled Tigraian Diasporas in the development of knowledge-based economy in Tigrai. Session 3 in the afternoon of Day 4 will explore the potential for creating a Diaspora knowledge-network and the lessons that can be learned from other successful countries’ experiences.
Session 1: Agriculture, rural transformation and land restoration
A discussion on rural transformation and land restoration in Tigrai should begin by acknowledging the tremendous achievement made in recent years both in terms of improvements in productivity and farming methods and increase in crop production. Recently, the Tigrai region was awarded the “Gold Future Policy Award 2017”, which is a prestigious award given to countries or regions that have implemented the best and most effective policies to combat desertification and land degradation and preserves the quality of land. The Tigrai region won the Gold award after beating 26 other nominated policies implemented to prevent land degradation. Tigrai should continue to build on these remarkable achievements by encouraging innovative agricultural research through the “Quad-Helix” model and learning from other more successful countries. Despite these successes, however, it is evident that more needs to be done to modernize the Tigraian agricultural sector. The majority of the Tigraian population (nearly 85 %) is still dependent on farming-related activities only and the opportunities for employment and income generation from non-farm rural economic activities remain minimal. Consequently, for many young people in rural areas, the employment choices are either farming or migrating to larger cities in search of better job and income opportunities. In many other African countries, on average up to 45% of rural income originates from non-farm rural economic activities such as food processing, manufacture or renting of farm equipment, provision of financial and other services, etc. Such activities create opportunities for young people from rural origin to be employed in non-farm economic activities before migrating to cities, thereby reducing the rural-urban migration rate as well as providing the young people the opportunity to work and live closer to family and home. Through panel discussion and the participation of experts and officials from the Agriculture Bureau, session 1 will explore the policy options for promoting non-farm rural economic activities, the role of “Quad-helix” model in boosting agricultural productivity (for example, through government and industry supported research at local universities) and the lessons to be learned from other countries.
Session 2: Youth employment and emigration and women empowerment
This Session will address one of the biggest challenges in Tigrai and Ethiopia as a whole, which is the creation of well-paying, formal sector and productive employment opportunities for the millions of young people that join the labour market every year. How to tackle the youth unemployment problem and women empowerment are two critical challenges that require urgent attention. Women carry the double burden of “home care” and productive employment, often without pay. Even in urban areas, women are paid less and often work under sub-standard conditions. The rate of participation of Ethiopian women in research and other knowledge-based activities is the lowest among African countries, indicating the limited opportunities available for young Ethiopian girls to advance in science-based education. This has direct implications for the empowerment of Ethiopian women and their status in society. In urban area, there is hope that the new Industrial park will help create employment opportunities for young girls – albeit low-pay – but it will not solve the employment challenge in general. If the youth employment challenge and women empowerment is not solved, a major asset of the country would have remained underutilized and even worse, the level of poverty will rise and the international migration rates will increase. The Tigrai- Grand Conference should address this urgent and pertinent issue and explore ways in which the regional government of Tigrai – in collaboration with local private sector as well as through “Quad-helix” partnership and by learning from the experiences of other countries – could create a conducive environment of job-creation. Experts in this field as well as representatives from the regional government and local academia will lead a panel discussion on this issue, including through interactive discussion with audiences.
Session 3: Diaspora knowledge-network
The stock of knowledge and skills accumulated among Tigraian Diasporas can ‘potentially’ contribute to the accumulation of human capital and technological capabilities in Tigrai through – at least – two mechanisms: first, by creating and actively managing a ‘Tigraian Diaspora Knowledge-Network’ (by maximizing the effort of GSTS); and second, by returning to Tigrai to engage in business or other knowledge-induced activities. There are many examples from different developing countries where Diaspora Knowledge-Networks have contributed immensely to the technological capability, including research, innovation capacity, in home countries. Session 3 will discuss the relevance Diaspora Knowledge-Network for Tigrai and how the successful examples from other countries can be emulated. The session will also analyse the factors that contributed to the success of Diaspora Knowledge-Network in other countries and what Tigraian Diasporas need to do to learn from these positive experiences.)
Special focus on:
- How other developing countries benefited from such networks and what were the key factors for their success?
- What should Tigraian Diasporas do to establish such a network or empower GSTS and what should be the main area of focus?
- How to practically engage the diaspora knowledge bank into the development endeavours of Tigrai?
- How to make Tigrai a magnet/a centre of gravity and destination of intellectuals and entrepreneurs?
Track 5: The way forward
Conferences are meaningful if they lead to concrete outcomes and the way forward is mapped and next steps are clearly defined. The last day of the Conference will be devoted to identifying concrete deliverables and building consensus on the next steps. Ultimately, the success of the Conference will be measured by its outcomes and the tangible recommendations and action lines that identify moving forward. In the course of Day 5, a number of deliverables will be identified and the responsibilities for implementing various recommendations will be discussed and agreed. This will include establishing professional think-tanks (task forces) and others.
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