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  • on 27.10.2014
  • at 02:00 PM
  • by Kevin Hind

Inter-African research links rare below the Sahara 0

Most research in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is produced alongside scientists from outside the region, with collaborations within Africa sorely lacking, says a report, which also found that the region’s research capacity is too small to keep up with development ambitions.

For example, 70 per cent of research in east Africa and 79 per cent in southern Africa was produced through non-SSA collaboration in 2012, said the report, issued by the World Bank and academic publisher Elsevier at a forum last month (30 September) in Washington DC, United States.

Its authors and other experts said that collaborating with researchers outside the continent promotes knowledge and equipment sharing, thereby yielding higher-quality research than without such cooperation.

But they argued that SSA researchers’ reliance on international collaboration highlights a lack of capacity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) that impedes them from collaborating with each other.

“That means very little knowledge sharing [within the continent], which I think is a missed opportunity,” says Andreas Blom, a report coauthor and World Bank economist.

Study authors and World Bank officials at the forum emphasised the need to boost STEM research capacity and training in Africa, by, for example, boosting funding and better links with industry, citing the development benefits. SSA research comprises less than one per cent of the global share, the report found.

continue reading on SciDev.Net

By Puneet KolliparaSciDev.Net

Photo credit: FAO

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