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African nations have taken a step closer to a common position on issues relating to science and technology at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), which takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 August to 4 September.

At a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 9 to 15 March, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which groups 53 African nations, endorsed a statement originally adopted at the African Preparatory Conference for the WSSD, held in Nairobi in October, highlighting issues such as the continent’s increasingly serious public health crisis.

The statement also recognises the role of science and technology in development, and calls on “the international community to assist African countries in their efforts to gain access to new technologies and to create conditions for the development of indigenous technologies that are important for enhancing economic development.”

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