ASTII POLIC Y BRIEF SERIES JULY 2013 - No 02 MONITORING AFRICA’S PROGRESS IN RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT (R&D) INVESTMENTS

This policy brief provides an informed assessment on the progress made by the member states of the African union towards meeting the target of 1% of GDP on R&D expenditure. 

This policy decision can be traced to the Monrovia Declaration of 1979, the Lagos Plan of Action (LPA) for the Economic Development of Africa (1980–2000), the Eighth Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU that met in 2006 in Khartoum, Sudan and the Ninth Executive Council of the AU held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2007. 

 

Main findings from this policy brief

  • Reported R&D investment in surveyed countries ranged between 0.2% and 0.48% of the GDP and only three countries (Malawi, Uganda and South Africa) reached the 1% of their GDP (Figure 1) (AOI, 2010).Many of these data have been questioned (.e.g. the GERD from Uganda and Malawi).
  • The public sector (government and higher education) was the first R&D performer except in South Africa and Malawi where the business sector is dominant;
  • The government was the most important funding source of R&D activities, especially if higher education was lumped together with government
  • R&D activities were to a large extent financed by international donors and other foreign sources.
  • The business enterprise sector accounted for a considerable share of the funding of R&D activities in some countries (Ghana 50.9%, South Africa 42.7% and Malawi 22.8%), while in most countries; the share of funding was less than 10%

Recommendations from this policy brief include:

 

  • Strengthen the statistical capabilities of participating countries to improve the quality of data through investment human capital development and Information communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure;
  • Strengthen collaboration and linkages between line ministries involved in science and technology and the National Statistics Office.

CONTACT

African Observatory of Science Technology and Innovation (AOSTI)

P.O. Box 549 - Malabo , Equatorial Guinea

  info@aosti.org

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