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Science is at the heart of solutions to African problems such as poverty, drought and famine, write Janez Potoaçnik and Jean-Pierre Ezin, the commissioners for science and research in the European and African Unions, in The New Times.

Some might question the development of advanced science in a continent where many still lack access to clean water and few can read. But Potoaçnik and Ezin say new technologies can improve water quality, and satellite imagery can help ensure food and water security.

A partnership on science, information society and space was one of eight strategic partnerships agreed by Africa and the European Union in December 2007, which put science at the centre of Africa–European relations.

But to move from recognition to results, efforts must concentrate on specific challenges and be coherent across the whole African continent, the authors say.

This can be done by ensuring support is delivered in a coordinated way from and to the member states of the respective continents.

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