After three decades of trial and error, innovation policy is taking off in Africa. Our new policy brief tracks the roll out of science, technology and innovation (ST&I) policies in 11 African nations, in the context of various development issues.
Experts from around the world recently met in Nairobi, Kenya to analyse innovation policies in Botswana, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Among other outputs, the workshop mapped ST&I policy progress set against each country’s ‘Developmental Vision’.
These visions address umbrella issues like poverty reduction, employment generation, food security, social welfare, structural transformation and industrial development, information and communication technology (ICT) and environmental sustainability, with ST&I plans and policies being the integral part. To achieve their vision, we found that different countries favour different ST&I policies. For instance, Ethiopia’s vision is oriented towards export promotion and growth, Mauritius stresses green growth, and Tanzania emphasises better productivity.
Workshops for Policymakers
This was the first in a series of workshops entitled “Design and Evaluation of Innovation Policies in African Countries” (DEIP-Africa). It included high-level policymakers in science, technology and innovation from among others the Southern African Development Community, the Common Market for Southern and Eastern Africa, and the East African Community.
Part of the long-running ‘DEIP’ series, the programme was organised by UNU-MERIT in partnership with the African Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Pan African University – Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation, under the auspices of the African Union Commission.
All government institutions in Africa are invited to submit proposals to co-run similar workshops via merit.unu.edu/deip.
GDP (million PPP) and GDP per capita (PPP), constant 2011 international $. Data for 2013. Source: World Development Indicators.
Total Population, million. Source: African Development Bank Group.
Median age of the total population, years, estimates for 2010. Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2013). World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision, DVD Edition.
Sector breakdown value added, % of GDP. Data availability varies across countries – the most recent statistic available is reported. Source: World Development Indicators.
Sector breakdown employment, % of total employment. Data availability varies across countries – the most recent statistic available is reported. Source: World Development Indicators and participant presentations during DEIP workshop, Kenya, 2014.
Unemplyoment rate, % of total labour force, modeled ILO estimate, 2012. Source: World Development Indicators and participant presentations during DEIP workshop, 2014.
Employment in informal sector, % of total employment, except for Mauritius, Namibia and Uganda where data is expressed as % of non-agricultural employment. Data for Ethiopia only includes urban areas. Source: Statistical Update on Employment in the Informal Economy, ILO (2012), and participant presentations during DEIP workshop, Kenya, 2014.
GDP in informal sector, % of total GDP. Source: Participant presentations during DEIP workshop, Kenya, 2014.
Information in this table have been compiled from participant presentations during DEIP workshop, Kenya, 2014. These have been further enriched by various country documents:
Burundi: http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Project-and-Operations/Burundi%20-%20CSP%202012-16.pdf and http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/science-technology/sti-policy/country-studies/burundi/
Ethiopia: http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/SC/pdf/sc_workshop_mombasa_lemecha_en.pdf and The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Science, Technology and Innovation policy, February 2012
Kenya: http://www.ist-africa.org/home/files/Kenya_STI-Policy_Mar08.pdf and http://cipitlawstrath.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/kenya-enacts-new-law-on-science-technology-and-innovation/
NB: Mauritius currently has a Draft National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy & Strategy (2014-2025) and is currently collecting ST&I indicators. The information on ‘degree of achievement’ was not filled due strictly for this reason. There are various ongoing ST&I initiatives and projects in Mauritius.
Rwanda: http://www.minecofin.gov.rw/fileadmin/General/EDPRS_2/EDPRS_2_FINAL1.pdf and http://www.uis.unesco.org/StatisticalCapacityBuilding/Workshop%20Documents/ST%20Workshop%20dox/Mombasa%202009/Rwanda-STI%20Presentation.pdf
Tanzania: http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/SC/pdf/sc_workshop_botswana_tanzania_en.pdf and http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/science-technology/sti-policy/country-studies/tanzanian/
African Observatory for Science Technology and Innovation (AOSTI):
African Science Technology and Innovation Indicator Programme, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (ASTII-NEPAD)
Pan African University- Institute for basic Science Technology and Innovation (PAU-ISTI)
Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA -2024)
Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA)
Lagos Plan of Action
Gault, F (2010) Innovation and Development in F. Gault Innovation Strategies for a Global Economy: Development, Implementation, Measurement and Management, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham. pp.133-146.
Konte, A, and Ndong M (2012) The informal ICT sectors and Innovation Process in Senegal, African Journal of Science Technology Innovation and Development, Vol. 4, No 3, 2012 pp.61-97
Bugge, et al (2010)
Mulgan and Albury (2003)
Images: Flickr / CIMMYT; Embassy of Equatorial Guinea; Gates Foundation; World Bank; UN Photo / T.Jones; UNU / H.Hudson
Videos: UNU / H.Hudson