Marginalized Science and Technology in Africa


The United Nations Development Program has produced a technology achievement index. It measures technology creation, technology diffusion and the human skills that go with harnessing technology.


The index rates Africa poorly. Of 5 categories, no African country is in the highest two. Four are in the middle category, 5 are in the second to bottom category, described as "marginalized" technologically, and all the rest---the other 46 African countries-all land in the bottom category, dubbed "below marginalized".  In this model indigenous technologies are undervalued or simply ignored.


 In fact the African situation is well known to anybody who has travelled across the continent.  The low level of scientific and technological development is visible to the naked eye and does not need extensive research to be confirmed.  But more research on indicators of STI would be useful for policy purposes. What is needed is a better understanding of innovative societies, economies and cultures.  This is a prerequisite to improve STI strategies and policies.