Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Where next for science in Africa?

E-mail received from SciDev.Net:

Dear colleague,

Today SciDev.Net brings you a collection of material that examines some of the key players and issues concerning African science, technology and innovation policy.

In the run-up to the Congress of African Scientists and Policy makers (CASP), which takes place in Alexandria, Egypt, from 27 to 29 October 2006, SciDev.Net is publishing three articles that are directly relevant to this meeting:

· a report summarising the opinions of a group of individual scientists and policy makers who have been involved in an on-line discussion;

· the views of the African Union's commissioner for science and technology; and

· an editorial highlighting the need for Africa to ensure a balance between scientific priorities and a development-focused agenda.

Taken together, these three articles demonstrate that African scientists, policymakers, science communicators, research funders and investors all have a part to play in shaping the agenda for the next African Union (AU) summit meeting. This will be held in January 2007 and will discuss the role of science, technology and innovation in the continent's development.

Last month, the Science and Development Network (SciDev.Net) launched an email discussion group to stimulate debate on these issues. It is now publishing a collection of views from this discussion group, as many of the individual comments relating to issues such as knowledge management, Africa-centric solutions, information flow and a model law on biotechnology have implications for the discussions that will be taking place during CASP. To read the report visit:

To view the ongoing debate or to add your comment visit:

Nagia Essayed, the AU commissioner for human resources, science and technology, has a challenging task: to develop and harmonise Africa's policy on science and technology. Raising awareness of the role of science and technology in tackling problems such as sanitation, water and food security, she believes, is the way to obtain the political support from the continent's heads of state that is needed to ensure that adequate funding is made available. To read the interview visit:

David Dickson looks at the need to establish a careful balance between scientific priorities and a development driven agenda in creating a workable science and technology policy for Africa. To read the editorial visit:

SciDev.Net's special AU summit site brings together its coverage of the run-up to the summit, which will look at the role of science, technology and innovation in the continent's development. The site features relevant news, key documents and links. To read more visit:

Please circulate this information about these articles, the SciDev.Net AU summit site and its discussion group to your peers.

Please accept our apologies if you have already received this message through cross-posting. If you would like to update your details or cancel your registration with SciDev.Net please go to

Best wishes,

David Dickson
Director, SciDev.Net

SciDev.Net is the world’s leading electronic source of free news, views and analysis about science and technology in the developing world. Through support from international aid agencies, all SciDev.Net content and services are free of charge.


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