A special publication which tackles the question of how Africa will expand its knowledge in Science and Technology has been launched by the NEPAD Agency in Malabo, on the side-lines of the African Union Summit.
Published by the Agency’s African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (ASTII) Initiative, The Outlook Report reveals that there has been an improvement in human capacity on science and technology indicators in 35 African countries. It also cites an increase in the participation of women in research and development.
Science, Technology and innovation indicators are collected in order for AU Member States to track progress on how they are doing in the areas of Science and Technology as a key driver of social economic development of any economy in the continent and the globe.
The ASTII Programme was established out of the determination by African Ministers of Science and Technology to depend less on data coming from outside the continent. The focus shifted to creating capacity in the countries through NEPAD and African Union Commission to collect and analyse data to form policy.
At the launch of the Outlook Publication, Dr Aggrey Ambali, Head and Advisor of NEPAD Science Technology and Innovation Hub, said that ASTTI had capacitates countries to collect and analyse their own data.
“This process is not about ranking countries, but it’s a benchmarking progress for them to monitor how they are doing in Science and Technology. Governments still remain as the main funders of research and development in African countries,” he said. Professor Ambali thanked the various partners for their support, particularly the Government of Sweden, UNESCO, Human Science Research Council of South Africa, University of Lundt and AU Member States.
Dr Ibrahim Mayaki and Dr Martial De-Paul Ikounga
Dr Martial De-Paul Ikounga, the AU’s Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology said that often when we relay to statistics, we refer to only certain limited information but now we have a tool that shows that we have to base everything on tangible data. The budget allocated to capacity in Science and Technology needs to be adequate to improve the development of Science and Technology in Africa.
NEPAD CEO, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki said that the Outlook Report was an important tool which enabled the mainstreaming of science and technology in all areas of development for successful results.
“Numbers are not part of the governance system in policy design processes and this detrimental in policy design. This report will fill in that gap- it should be used as a tool for policy makers,” said Dr Mayaki