ASTII POLICY BRIEF SERIES JULY 2013 - No 01 SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTIVITY OF THE AFRICAN UNION MEMBER STATES (2005 TO 2010)

This policy brief is a summary of the bibliometric project of the AOSTI entitled “Assessment of the scientific productivity in the African Union, 2005-2010”published in the African STI Outlook, Bibliometric series #01, 2013.

 

The African Union’s scientific output is relatively small, but growing rapidly, with a growth rate similar to that of India, China and Brazil between 2005 and 2010. The propensity to publish in highly cited journals has grown rapidly between 2005 and 2010.

One of the most important findings of this study is how infrequently African countries collaborate—only 4.3% of the papers in 2008-2010 included inter-African country collaboration, contrasting with a score of 40% for extra-African collaboration between at least one African and one non-African country. A programme to foster cooperative research might help increase the rate of cooperation and accelerate the pace of STI development in Africa. 

In terms of specialisation and impact by fields of science, the recommendations contained in this Policy Brief are based on the profile of the African Union as a whole entity. At the individual country and economic communities levels however, the pictures of specialisation and impact follow the general trends observed at the African Union (AU) level but are varied in places, and would necessitate specific country and Regional Economic community (REC) bibliometric profiling. Overall, the trend of science and technology improvement in the African Union is quite promising, and further investigation in a number of areas at a more granular level is warranted.

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African Observatory of Science Technology and Innovation (AOSTI)

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