Monitoring STI Development and Policy Implementation in Africa


Science and technology policies must put in place a system to monitor scientific and technological progress.  In Africa, only a few countries seem to have put in place such a system and the indicators are more oriented towards science than technology, more oriented towards measuring the inputs (expenditures) than the outputs (the achievements) and more oriented towards measuring stocks than flows. 


Much of the data necessary to measure scientific progress and performance in Africa are unreliable or unavailable.  There is also a need to standardize indicators using internationally-agreed upon methodologies, such as those developed by OECD, including the Frascati methodology for experimental research and development as well as the Oslo methodology for innovation.  These methodologies are very complex whereby only trained personnel can understand, interpret and use them.  Thus, an effort must be made by policy-makers to compile statistics and compute indicators to monitor progress in research and development, technology transfer, technology application, patenting, technology licensing, university enrolment in science and engineering, brain drain / brain gain, scientific publications, internet users, etc. 


African countries should collaborate with NEPAD’s efforts in developing a system of STI indicators for diagnostics and policy purposes.