The African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology (AMCOST) is a high-level policy and political forum for ministers of science and technology from all member states of the African Union (AU). It was established in November 2003 in Johannesburg, South Africa under the auspices of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) to build a strong political constituency and leadership to promote Africa's scientific and technological development. AMCOST's remit is to enable African countries to collectively harness and apply science and technology to transform their economies and attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It promotes science and technology cooperation among African countries.
AMCOST is the overall governance structure for setting continental priorities and policies pertaining to the development and application of science and technology for Africa's socio-economic transformation. It functions through two subsidiary bodies: AMCOST Bureau of ministers and a Steering Committee comprising of permanent secretaries or their equivalent. The Bureau meets at least once a year while the Steering Committee meets at least twice a year.
To achieve it's objectives, AMCOST had developed and adopted 'Africa's Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action' (CPA) [Download a French version]. The CPA articulates Africa's common objectives and commitment to collective actions to develop and use science and technology for the socio-economic transformation of the continent and its integration into the world economy.
The CPA is based on capacity building, knowledge production, and technological innovation. Capacity building in this context refers to the creation, improvement and mobilization of human skills, physical infrastructures, financial resources and the necessary policies for science and technology to be produced and used to solve specific African problems. Knowledge production is really about the conduct of science-the generation of scientific and technical knowledge about Africa's problems and identification of specific ways to solve the problems (often referred to as R&D). Technological innovation entails the generation of specific products, processes and services.