Knowledge for Development

Africa science plan attacked


Date: 02/09/2014


Scientists have raised concerns about Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA) that African heads of state adopted on 2 July 2014. This ten-year pan-African science and innovation strategy prioritizes the use of research to drive economic and social development across the continent. The success of the strategy will depend on the quality of research projects in individual countries. To help scientists win domestic support for research programmes, STISA plans to set up a research and innovation council that will bring together academies and funders to coordinate national activities. It will also take control of a European Union-funded competitive grant scheme that has spent almost €14 million on research projects in water and sanitation, agriculture and energy. But critics fear that the strategy’s top-heavy administrative structure and lack of firm pledges may render it ineffective. They also believe that its aims may be beyond the continent’s limited resources, especially given that it contains few financial commitments. However, despite their concerns, critics agree that STISA is an improvement on its predecessor, Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA).   

(Nature, 25/06/2014)

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