The new Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa ignores key elements of innovation research

In his recent blog post David Ockwell, Deputy Director of the STEPS Centre, shared his concerns that the new Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 does not consider concerns raised by years of innovation research that were recently addressed by STEPS Centre research on the growth of the Solar Homes Systems market in Kenya

Seed-selector_STEPSCentreOn 2 July African Union Heads of State and Government adopted the new Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA-2024). This replaces the previous African Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA) that was adopted by the AU back in 2006. STISA-2024 sets out a decadal vision that prioritises science, technology and innovation (STI) as the core driver of economic and human development across the continent. The vision, based on what is described as a “participatory process” that included “…policy-makers, prominent scientists, and researchers at home and in Diaspora; institutions and organizations including the AU Commission and the NEPAD Agency”, is focussed around six core goals: Eradication of Hunger and Achieving Food Security; Prevention and Control of Diseases; Communication (Physical and Intellectual Mobility); Protection of our Space; Live Together- Build the Society; and Wealth Creation.

The document itself articulates some sound ideas of the barriers faced by both the preceding CPA and STI in Africa more generally. These frame the impetus for STISA-2024 and include: insufficient funding for STI; over reliance on oversees funding that tends to focus on isolated projects; a lack of linkages between entities in charge of STI policy making and other relevant policy organisations, academics and the private sector; STI policy officials lacking in STI expertise; and inadequate infrastructure, e.g. IT, energy, water. These barriers certainly concur with recent research in the STEPS Centre, for example in this recent paper.

Find the full post on the STEPS Centre blog here

(Photo credit: Seed selector, Kenya / STEPS Centre)

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