Knowledge for Development

Sub-Saharan Africa’s share of global research rises


Date: 31/12/2014


Sub-Saharan Africa’s contribution to global research output increased from 0.44% in 2003 to 0.72% in 2012, suggesting a reversal of the trend reported in 2007 that Africa’s contribution to worldwide research was declining. Focusing on research output and citation impact, the World Bank report, 'A Decade of Development in Sub-Saharan African Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Research' reveals that while research in the region has doubled over the past 10 years (most research in Africa focuses on agriculture and the health sciences, as the continent is battling serious diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, and most recently the Ebola epidemic), research in the physical sciences and in the  science, technology, engineering and mathematics based fields has lagged behind other subject areas. STEM research makes up only 29% of sub-Saharan Africa’s output, leaving a gap in many countries' ability to enhance sectors like energy, transport, light manufacturing and the extractive industries.   


(University World News, 02/10/2014)

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