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[ADDIS ABABA] Science and technology has been identified as a key issue for discussion by the Pan-African Parliament when it reconvenes in March.

The African parliament, legislative body of the African Union (AU), will discuss how to implement science proposals arising from the AU summit taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this week (29–30 January). Science and technology is the main theme of the summit.

The parliament bureau — the top tier of the parliament — will discuss the AU ministers' report on science and technology and how to implement its recommendations, according to vice president Loum Ndoadoumngue N. Eloumsei Elise.

She told SciDev.Net that discussion of the issues at the parliament would "create a ripple effect with members participating in similar science issues at parliaments in their respective nations".

However, she warned that "as much as we want science for development in the continent, we require manpower. This can not be achieved if people are poor, hungry, sick or are at war."

Botswana's parliamentary representative Boyce Sebetela said the parliamentary discussions would provide an ideal platform to further the debate on science and development in Africa.

Murumba Werunga, clerk of the parliamentary assembly, said that the discussions could depend on there being adequate funds available for the parliamentary session, warning that there were still issues surrounding the transfer of funds from the AU.

The parliamentary committee in charge of science and technology issues is expected to meet before parliament reconvenes to prioritise the motions tabled before its members.

The Pan-African parliament, based in Midrand, South Africa, was established in 2004 to implement the policies and objectives of the AU.

Read more about the AU summit in SciDev.Net's dedicated news focus.