The Politics of Knowledge in Africa and the Role of research and

Report
The African Academy of Sciences
Driving Scientific and Technological Innovation in Africa
Driving Scientific and Technological Innovation in Africa
Established in 1985
The African Academy of Sciences
Driving Scientific and Technological Innovation in Africa
The Politics of Knowledge in Africa and the Role of research
and Evidence in Policy making.
By:
Benji Apraku Gyampoh, PhD
[email protected];
@AASciences
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Presentation Outline
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Introduction
The Politics of Knowledge in Africa
Role of research in policy making
Some lessons learnt
Suggestions for capacity building
Conclusions
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
“We shall accumulate machinery and establish steel
works, iron foundries and factories; we shall link the
various states of our Continent with communications;
we shall astound the world with our hydroelectric
power; we shall drain marshes and swamps, clear
infested areas, feed the undernourished, and rid our
people of parasites and disease.
It is within the possibility of science and technology to
make even the Sahara bloom into a vast field with
verdant vegetation for agricultural and industrial
developments”.
President Kwame Nkrumah, first speech at the foundation summit of the
Organization of African Union, Addis Ababa, 24 May 1963
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Introduction
• How would Africa implement Nkrumah’s vision?
• What is needed?
– The right policies
– The right infrastructure
• What will inform these policies?
– Quality and Relevant Research Evidence?
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
The Politics of Knowledge in Africa
– Lagos Plan of Action for the Economic Development of Africa,
1980–2000; 1980
• Following The Monrovia Declaration, 1979 ,to hold of an Extraordinary Session to
consider economic problems facing Africa;
• African governments should commit 1% GDP to R&D
– Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action
(CPA); adopted by African ministers of S&T in 2005; endorsed by
AU heads of state and government in 2006
• Establishment of AOSTI, ASTII
– Addis Ababa Declaration on Science Technology and Scientific
Research for Development, 2007
– Nairobi ministerial declaration, 2012
• STI for youth Employment , Human capital Development and Inclusive Growth.
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Now comes STISA
• Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa
(STISA), 2014 – 2024. Three legal instruments to help with
implementation:
– The African Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation
(AOSTI) for monitoring and evaluation;
– The Pan-African Intellectual Property Organisation (PAIPO) for
safeguarding intellectual property rights
– The African Scientific Research and Innovation Council (ASRIC)
as an umbrella organisation of academics from all AU member
states to mobilise the day-to-day management of the STISA
implementation and provide a link between continental and
national implementation
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Science Academies in AFRICA
• About 20 science academies in Africa
– Including the African Academy of Sciences (AAS)
• General Roles
– The scientific eyes of the society
– Provide impartial, credible, science and technology-based
assessments of issues
– Guide policy makers in making informed decisions in science and
technology for sustainable development
• NB: Close enough to government to work with it
but far enough not to lose its ability to think
professionally and independently
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
The African Academy of Sciences
Vision
To be a MAJOR player in driving sustainable
development in Africa through
Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I)
Mission
To mobilize the entire African science and
technology community for sustainable
development
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Africa’s Agenda 2063
“An Integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa,
driven by its own citizens and representing a
dynamic force in the global arena”
• Surely, things must be done differently to take advantage
of the current momentum towards 2063
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Role of Research in Policy Making
Poverty
Health
Population growth and Urbanization
Productivity
The threats of climate change
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Role of research in policy making
Reducing Poverty
“Sustaining Africa’s strong growth over the longer term while significantly reducing
poverty and strengthening people’s resilience to adversity
Enablers
• Boost in Agricultural
production and food
security
• Comprehensive
Africa Agriculture
Development
Programme (CAADP)
Role of Research
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Developing improved crop varieties
Better Farming Practices; mechanisation
Commodities diversification
Pest and disease management
Providing access to safe drinking water
Improved data management; statistical
capacity to better track changes
• Biotechnology
• Translating growth into poverty reduction
• Demonstrating quality with relevance
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Role of research in policy making
Better health
Addressing the challenge of a double burden of communicable and non-communicable
diseases over the next 50 years. AfDB, 2013
Enablers
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Improved healthcare
Safe drinking water
Improved sanitation
Improved nutritional
wellbeing
Role of Research
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Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria, NCDs, etc
Providing safe water
Developing new vaccines and medicines
Addressing increasing rate of noncommunicable diseases
Training of human resources
Developing health infrastructure
Innovation in healthcare delivery: e-health
Improved nutrition
Addressing Impact of climate change on
health
Role of research in policy making
Controlling Population Growth and Improve Urbanisation
“Sustaining Africa’s strong growth over the longer term while controlling our population
and ensuring improved urbanisation
Enablers
• Right Policies
• Education
• Appropriate
infrastructure
Role of Research
• Addressing rapid uncontrolled urbanization
• Affordable housing and urban planning
• Provision of adequate sanitation, water
and healthcare facilities,
• Environmental, physical and societal
challenges related to planning settlements
• Engineering: design of roads and bridges,
water and sewer systems
• Telecommunications networks
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Role of research in policy making
Increased Productivity
“Sustaining Africa’s strong growth over the longer term by increasing productivity and
reducing all factors that limit productivity
Enablers
• Right Policies
• Relevant research
• Increasing energy
production
• Efficient energy use
Role of Research
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Technology for developing energy resources
Impact of diseases on productivity
Measures to raise productivity industry
Reducing losses due to Malaria incapacitated
labor; estimated to be $12 billion annually
• Increased technology use and innovation
• Improving skills and institutional capacity to
support productivity
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Role of research in policy making
Addressing the impacts of climate change
“Sustaining Africa’s strong growth over the longer term in the face of changing
climate and increased climatic variability and its impacts
Enablers
• Improved
understanding of the
impact of climate
change
• Right Policies
Role of Research
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Improved understanding of climate change
Adaptation studies: opportunities, risks
Rainwater harvesting technologies
Technology for sound environmental
management
• Developing low emission technology
• Capacity to control imports and exports of
wastes into and within Africa.
• Developing adaptation and mitigation
strategies
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Some Lessons Learnt
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Scientific Output in the Africa Union
• Relatively small (at around 2% of the
world total), but growing rapidly, with a
growth rate similar to that of India,
China and Brazil between 2005 and
2010.
• How infrequently African countries
collaborate—only 4.3% of the papers in
2008-2010 included intra-African
collaboration, contrasting with a score of
40% for extra-African collaboration
between at least one African and one
non-African country.
• Overall, the trend of science and
technology improvement in the African
Union is quite promising
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Growth of African scientific output, 20052010 (1)
Very tangible growth observed everywhere in Africa
% Increase
Country / Group
2005-2010
2005-2007
2008-2010
World
10,055,974
4,619,523
5,436,451
18%
1.00
African Union
181,454
74,629
106,825
43%
1.22
Community of Sahelo-Saharan States
108,575
43,507
65,068
50%
1.27
South African Development Community
61,778
27,006
34,772
29%
1.09
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
60,239
24,357
35,882
47%
1.25
Arab Maghreb Union
42,836
16,461
26,375
60%
1.36
Economic Community of West African States
32,456
13,117
19,339
47%
1.25
Intergovernmental Authority on Development
15,237
6,248
8,989
44%
1.22
East African Community
13,688
5,759
7,929
38%
1.17
5,239
2,343
2,896
24%
1.05
Economic Community of Central African States
2008-2010 / 2005-2007
Source: Computed by Science-Metrix using the Scopus database (Elsevier)
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Growth Index
Growth of African scientific output, 20052010 (2)
Cumulative growth is similar to that of fastest growing countries
Cumulative growth
100%
90%
India
80%
China
70%
Brazil
60%
African Union
50%
Rep. of Korea
Australia
40%
Spain
30%
Netherlands
20%
Switzerland
10%
Italy
0%
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
Year
Source:
Computed by Science-Metrix using the Scopus database (Elsevier)
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
2010
What needs extra effort?
• How to link science, technology and innovation to poverty
reduction, job creation, sustainable livelihoods and the improved
well-being of citizens.
• As countries engage in knowledge intensive activities, how will
Africa expand its knowledge?
• Supporting prudent policy formulation and research agenda that
addresses economic and social challenges.
• How to develop relevant STI indicators that can be used in
formulating policies
• Building quality and relevant capacity and competencies to
ensure development of research-based policies
Suggestions for Capacity Building
Exploring new partnerships and mechanisms for
supporting integrated trans-disciplinary research
and capacity building activities
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Suggestions for Capacity Building
• Sustainable capacity building is a long-term intervention
– Do a major audit of the capacity developing establishments such
as higher educational and research establishments - to ensure
that they are producing the specialized knowledge and skills
needed for the continent’s development.
• CIRCLE - Climate Impact Research Capacity and
Leadership Enhancement
– AAS, ACU, DFID collaboration
– ca 100 research fellowship in trans-disciplinary fields.
– An intra-African collaboration of early career African scholars
and various home and host institutions
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Suggestions for Capacity Building
• Developing intra-African cooperation
– collaboration between African and North scientists resulting in
papers published in high impact factor journals is important
– A real measure of capacity building for the African collaborators
must take into consideration an appreciation of researches and
publications where the Africans are leaders and not followers
– Africa based researchers who are global leaders must be
supported to promote trans-national collaboration in Africa
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Suggestions for Capacity Building
• The challenge of poverty in numbers, data and
information
– Training (both short and long term) of more personnel per
country to create a critical mass of experts to undertake surveys
– Institutionalise R&D surveys and innovation surveys, creating a
culture of collecting and archiving statistics, and especially STI
statistics, at national level.
– Encourage dialogue among countries to share best practices
– Encourage regular interaction between scientists and policy
makers
– Research data must be translated into easily comprehensible
information for effective dissemination
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Suggestions for Capacity Building
• Inspiring and stimulating African youth
– Africa is the most youthful continent with more than 50% of its
population under 25 years of Age.
– It is estimated that by 2040 Africa will have the largest and the
youngest global workforce.
– More initiatives needed that are targeted to inspire and
stimulate the youth to be involved in quality and relevant
research that breeds .innovation
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Conclusions
• Research finding its way into influencing policies
is a science and an art. It is not an event but a long
term intervention that needs careful planning,
resourcing and strategizing
• Quality and Relevant Research is what can
influence policy.
• Research uptake must be part of every research
design and possible uptake stakeholders involved
from the onset
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Thank you
Think Tank Initiative Learning Events in Africa, 19 May 2014, Nairobi, Kenya

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