Knowledge for Development

Africa-wide S&T organizations

African S&T organizations with operations throughout the continent.

Academy of Sciences for the Developing World - Sub-Saharan Africa Subsite (TWAS-ROSSA)

TWAS-ROSSA, currently hosted by the African Academy of Sciences in Nairobi, Kenya, promotes the activities of TWAS and its affiliated organisations in Africa, including training of fellows, issuing of grants and awards and networking amongst its members. The TWAS-ROSSA regional office is working to enhance the visibility of TWAS among young and promising scientists, policy makers and media, through the organisation of public lectures, discussion meetings, television programmes, and local newspapers/magazines, identifying eminent scientists in the region and nominating them for TWAS membership and awards, and assessing the vitality and effectiveness of TWAS activities in the region.


Africa Portal

An undertaking by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI, Canada), Makerere University (MAK, Uganda), and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), the Africa Portal offers open access to an online library collection; a resource for opinion and analysis; an experts directory; an international events calendar; and a mobile technology component - all aimed to equip users with research and information on Africa's current policy issues in five thematic areas—conflict resolution, energy, food security, health, and migration, with special attention to the cross-cutting issue of climate change. The Africa Portal features an open access online library collection holding over 2,500 digital documents, some digitized for the first time. The Africa Portal is part of the Africa Initiative (AI) project, a multi-year, donor-supported joint undertaking by Canada's CIGI in cooperation with Uganda's Makerere University (MAK).



This is a long-term (20 years) initiative to promote, in the full spirit of NEPAD, coupled training and research programs for building and maintaining a scientific workforce for Africa’s natural resource sector – petroleum, minerals and water– which is a major driving force for economic development. Initially, AfricaArray is focusing on geophysics to maintain and develop geophysical training programs in response to industry, government and university needs; and promote geophysical research, and establish an Africa-to-Africa research support system. It will also obtain geophysical data, through a network of shared observatories, for studying scientific targets of economic and societal importance, as well as fundamental geological processes shaping the African continent. Based at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, AfricaArray offers MSc and PhD programmes, as well as grants, scholarships and other funding arrangements.



AfricaLink is a division of USAID that supports regional networks of African policy makers and scientists in agriculture, natural resource management, and the environment.


African Academy of Sciences (AAS)

The African Academy of Sciences is an autonomous professional, non-political and non-profit organization. The Academy's mandate covers four main areas: mobilization and strengthening of the African scientific community; publication and dissemination of scientific materials; research development and policy; and capacity building in science and technology.


African Agricultural Capital (AAC)

The AAC is a new investment facility created by the Rockefeller and Gatsby Charitable Foundations and VolksvermogenNV specifically to invest in small and medium-sized agriculture-related businesses in East Africa. Based in Kampala, the AAC aims to be the leading investor in small and medium-sized enterprises operating in the agriculture value chain, whether providing inputs and services to farmers or offering farmers improved access to market opportunities.


African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF)

AATF (African Agricultural Technology Foundation) seeks to link needs of resource-poor, smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa with potential (bio-)technological solutions through: (1) identifying and facilitating royalty free transfers of proprietary technologies through negotiation; (2) entering into contractual agreements with existing institutions that will manage deployment of the technologies; and (3) ensuring that subsequent constraints after access are addressed. The Nairobi-based AATF is funded by USAID, the Rockefeller Foundation and DFID, and is supported by four of the world's largest agricultural companies - Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Dow AgroSciences. See also:, 18 June 2004: Small-scale farmers get technology boost in Africa and Washington Post, 11 March 2003: To feed hungry Africans, firms plant seeds of science.


African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)

ACTS is an international intergovernmental policy research and training organization located in Nairobi, Kenya. The Centre's activities focus on the implementation of Agenda 21 and related conventions on biological diversity, biotechnology, water resources, climate change and desertification.


African Conservation Tillage (ACT) Network

The ACT is an international association of private, public and NGO sectors, including farmers, input and machinery manufacturers and suppliers, researchers and extensionists, who believe that the adoption of conservation tillage principles and practices in Africa can not only reduce but reverse the environmental degradation that is devastating the continent. The association disseminates information and experiences in the adaptation and adoption of conservation farming principles and practices in order to enhance the capacities and abilities of stakeholders and promotes the adoption of sustainable soil-water management practices.


African Development Bank (ADB)

The ADB is a regional multilateral development finance institution based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, that is engaged in mobilising resources towards the economic and social progress of its regional member countries. The ADB has recently created a new division of tertiary, science, technical and vocational training, which will focus on skills creation through assistance to tertiary education as well as on science and technology. The objective of the division is to assist African countries to achieve the MDGs and, through the development of a skilled human capital base, position Africa for the expansion of employment opportunities, globalisation and competitiveness. Contact:


African Drought Monitor

Monitoring drought globally is challenging because of the lack of dense in-situ hydrologic data in many regions. This is particularly problematic for developing regions such as Africa where water information is arguably most needed, but virtually nonexistent on the ground in many regions. A potential way forward is to use a modelling framework that couples available satellite remote sensing and in-situ information. This results in physically consistent and spatially and temporally continuous estimates of the water cycle and drought. A drought monitor based on this framework and an accompanying web-based user interface have been developed by Princeton University, in collaboration with UNESCO, for operational and research use over Africa. Based on macro scale hydrologic modelling, the system ingests available data to provide a real-time assessment of the water cycle and drought conditions, and puts this in the context of the long-term record back to 1950. The data is made available online for drought research and operational use to augment on-the-ground assessments of drought.


African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)

The African Economic Research Consortium (AERC, Nairobi, Kenya), established in 1988, is a public not-for-profit organization devoted to advance policy research and training in economics. AERC's principal objective is to strengthen local capacity for conducting independent, rigorous inquiry into problems pertinent to the management of economies in sub-Saharan Africa. AERC is supported by 17 funders, of which 13 are members of the Consortium. AERC's research priorities are determined by an independent Programme Committee drawn from senior African scholars, policy analysts, policy makers and international resource persons. It regularly publishes papers on the state and issues on research in sub-Saharan Africa.


African Forest Research Network (AFORNET)

AFORNET is a network of African forest research scientists that promotes quality research on the use, management and conservation of African forest and tree resources. It also aims to strengthen multidisciplinary and multi-country research. AFORNET operates a research grants scheme with the aim of promoting and strengthening individual scientists’ research capacity in order to retain outstanding scholars for generating and disseminating knowledge that is relevant to development. The Network offers fellowship programmes for both junior and senior scientists.


African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) has the mandate to implement the Agricultural Advisory Services aspects of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) - an African-owned and Africa-led initiative through which interventions to transform agriculture are coordinated. The CAADP has four pillars one of which (Pillar 4) addresses agricultural research, technology dissemination and adoption. Leadership of the implementation of this Pillar is mandated to the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). In this context AFAAS operates under the umbrella of FARA but has its own autonomy and governance structure. AFAAS currently works in 16 African countries.


African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology (AMCOST)

The council is a high-level policy and political forum for ministers of science and technology from all member states of the African Union, set up in November 2003 under the auspices of NEPAD to build a strong political constituency and leadership to promote Africa’s scientific and technological development. The council’s remit is to enable African countries to collectively harness and apply science and technology to transform their economies and achieve the MDGs. It promotes S&T cooperation among African countries. Contact details:


African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE)

The African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE) is a network of 131 educational institutions in 35 African countries. ANAFE’s objective is to strengthen the teaching of multidisciplinary approaches to land management. The ANAFE secretariat is hosted at the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) headquarters in Nairobi. This provides a vantage point for network management, linkages with the research and development activities of ICRAF and its partners, and convenient access to communication facilities. Administratively, the network is attached to the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). Day-to-day activities are supervised by an executive secretary. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) has been providing financial support to ANAFE since July 1991. Members contribute to the cost of managing specific activities. ANAFE works closely with agriculture, agroforestry and natural resource management initiatives in Africa.


African Network of Scientific and Technology Institutions (ANSTI)

ANSTI brings together African institutions engaged in university-level training and research in science and technology, and was founded in 1980 through the financial support of UNDP, UNESCO and the German government. ANSTI has 98 member institutions in 33 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It aim is to develop active collaboration among African scientific institutions to promote R&D in areas of relevance to the development of the region. ANSTI emphasises the pooling of resources available in the region so as to provide quality training and research in various scientific disciplines. Contact details:


African Science Academy Development Initiative (ASADI)

ASADI was established in 2004 to strengthen African academies’ ability to inform government policy-making and public discourse with independent, evidence-based advice. The initiative - supported by a $20 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by the U.S. National Academies - will be carried out in Africa over the next decade. Africa’s S&T capacity is limited and unevenly distributed. Moreover, existing S&T knowledge in academia and industry in many African countries is disconnected from decision-making - decreasing the likelihood that the research community will contribute to policy improvements that would ultimately benefit the public at large. Stronger science academies can foster measures to save lives or raise the standard of living by settling key questions on topics such as malaria prevention, sustainable development, or agricultural production. The science academies of Nigeria, Uganda, and South Africa were chosen as the initial focal points for the initiative. Some of the preliminary activities involve helping these academies hire and train staff members, implement administrative procedures, manage finances, conduct scientific studies, and organize forums and major meetings.


African scientific societies and associations

African scientific societies and associations. Directories listing African organizations by country, region and by discipline, maintained by the Africa Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).