Thursday, August 5, 2021

African countries not giving enough to science and technology – report

The 2017 African Capacity Report has highlighted and expressed concerns over African governments’ failure to commit part of their annual budgets for the establishment of a science and technology fund as detailed in the continental strategy for 2024. 

The African Capacity Building Foundation launched the annual report in Dakar, Senegal, recently that was published with financial support from the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the African Development Bank (AFDB) and the Islamic Development Bank. 

The Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA-2024) has stressed the importance of science, technology and innovation for economic growth and human development. 

The strategy highlights the need for capacity building and is concerned about how African governments fail to commit at least one percent of their Gross Domestic Product to science and technology. 

This comes after a research was carried out to find out the number of science, technology and innovation researchers in Africa by the African Science Technology and Innovation Indicators (ASSTII) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Bureau of Statistics.

The data collected reveal that the country in Africa with the most number of researchers is Tunisia with 1 394 and South Africa being the top southern African country with 864.

On one end, Botswana is ranked on the seventh spot with 344 while the least country is Sudan with 19 researchers.

The African capacity report states that between 2005 and 2014 Kenya recorded the most number of scientific publications 1 374. South Africa recorded more than 9 000 followed by Tanzania with 770 and Botswana being on the sixth spot with 210 publications.   

The report further shows that about one third of the publications from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region in 2008 -2014 were in Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics. Mostly South Africa and Mauritius research were on health related sciences.

The African Capacity Building Foundation stated that Africa’s increasing number and global share of article suggest that it is starting to emerge scientifically on to the world stage.

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