On 11 October 2022, the Mauritanian city of Nouakchott hosted the fifth Ministerial Conference of the “5+5 Dialogue on Research, Innovation, and Higher Education”, chaired by Mauritania and co-chaired by Italy, with the participation of Ministers from Spain, France, Italy, Malta and Portugal, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, and Tunisia, as well as representatives of the Arab Maghreb Union, the European Commission, and the Union for the Mediterranean.
The Mauritanian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Mr. Mohamed El Amine Ould Abi Ould Cheikh El Hadrami opened the conference, stressing the role of the 5+5 Dialogue in strengthening cooperation in the fields of research, innovation, and higher education to promote responsible and sustainable economic growth.
The Nouakchott Declaration for Research, Innovation and Higher Education was signed at the end of the conference together with a work plan for 2022-2024 to strengthen cooperation among the countries of the Western Mediterranean Forum. It aims at strengthening cooperation and conducive synergies in scientific research, innovation and higher education and promoting social cohesion, youth employment and sustainable development in the western Mediterranean region.
The signing of the Nouakchott Declaration for Research, Innovation and Higher Education by the Ministers of Education, University and Research marks the beginning of the Portuguese presidency which will extend from 2022 to 2024.
For Portugal, the main objective of this Presidency will be to promote the implementation of new networking tools, fostering open research and innovation close to socio-economic development, as the institutional ecosystems of R&I and Higher Education are strengthened, promoting quality and combined learning practices for the development of skills and talent circulation, with a focus on the Sustainable Blue Economy to foster the general objective cooperation, social cohesion, the youth employment and the sustainable development of this region through.