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The Bio economy summit which was open by the Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister of Education and Research, attracted participants from different parts of the world hailing from diverse walks of life such as science, civil society, policy and the business sector to Berlin under the theme “Innovation, Green growth and sustainable development”. The gathering created a platform to deliberate, share and the knowledges, ideas, approaches, progress, and draw backs in the global bio economy.  There were varies platform, starting with plenary sessions, workshops, and exhibitions. The gathering highlighted bio economy in the sense of societal, scientific, economic and political natures and their points of integration. Furthermore the workshops sessions entailed dialogs around the “Bio economy of the world regions” which were subdivided into individual sessions for Africa, Europe and North America, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Other workshop sessions included presentation and talks related to industrial bio economy, innovation and environment, and policy in light of measuring and monitoring, transformative science, education and training.

The workshop session on the “Bio economy of the world regions – Africa” was an interactive gathering where participants engaged into talks around strategies for bio economy for development in Africa. Consequently one of the significant area of discussion was the potential Africa has for international collaboration in terms of bio economy, especially cooperation between African and European. Some of the other focal areas were the, challenges Africa has in terms of science, resources policies, and employment, and the, un-achieved bio-economical potential of Africa, using the sustainability development goals as guiding post.

The final plenary session of the Global Bio economy summit 2018 was chaired by Christine Lang, and Joachim von Braun, both the co-Chairs, German Bio economy Council, which entailed giving comments and inputs on the Communiqué of GBS2018. It was during this session that the Next Einstein Ambassador for Namibia ǂAibtae Hatago Stuurmann alongside others such Ben Durham, National Department of Science and Technology, South Africa, Dirk Carrez, Executive Director, Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC). H.E. Cameron Dick, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Queensland Government, Gerard J. Ostheimer, Bioenergy Lead for Sustainable Energy for All, and Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, Bishop& Chancellor, Pontificial Academy of Science closed the Global bio economy summit 2018. Consequently ǂAibtae Hatago Stuurmann highlighted the need to take research out of the laboratories and into markets to answer the needs of the society, while being considerate about the environment, climate change, disease, production and consumption of all sorts, because as human being we need to be aware that we are a part of the ecosystem and not outside the ecosystem. This final sessions generally indicated the importance of realising, that different counties have different understandings on the concept of bio economy due to different levels and state of development and economic status of each individual country across the globe.

About the author:

Aibate Hatago Stuurmann is a NEF Ambassador to Namibia and a researcher, investigating polymer science, currently pursuing her PhD at the University of the Namibian. She holds a Master’s degree in Science with research interest on Ethno-pharmacology, drug discovery and development focusing non-communicable diseases.