Displaying 1-10 of 10 key documents
This report, from the Network for the Coordination and Advancement of Sub-Saharan Africa-EU Science & Technology Cooperation (CAAST–Net), aims to promote cooperation in science and technology between Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The authors argue that Africa must build up a domestic knowledge base and Europe must help transfer technology. In this regard, they evaluate European-African partnerships and African participation in both the EU Framework Programmes and the European Development Fund.
Source: LEAD Africa
This report, published in English and French, looks at the unique responsibilities of African regional institutions in leading the continent on climate issues.
The report makes six recommendations for action by regional institutions: provide technical advice to African climate negotiators; help develop a coherent continental framework for action against climate change; play a 'bridging' role between pan-African organisations and national ones; improve the availability of climate data on the continent by sharing information; and compare strategies for adaptation to inform policymaking.
Source: Africa Progress Panel
This policy brief, prepared by the Africa Progress Panel, African Development Bank and UN, outlines the implications of climate change for Africa, emphasising the need for a strong and cohesive negotiating position at the December 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen.
The authors argue that African governments must define practical steps for the international community to address the climate crisis. Three areas require urgent action: clear emissions targets and an adaptation fund; energy-saving technologies through additional financing and technology transfer; and improving long-term frameworks such as the Clean Development Mechanism and reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).
To achieve this, argue the authors, African heads of state and ministers of finance, planning and environment must collaborate on a practical strategy position to generate maximum buy-in from the rest of the world. This must be achieved in time for high-level meetings in the second half of 2009.
Source: ACU | June 2005
This paper from the Association of Commonwealth Universities outlines the commitments and activities made by major international partners — specifically the G8 countries — to developing African higher education between 2000 and 2004.
Projects are analysed by topic — from human resources development to HIV/AIDS to science and technology — and region. The authors highlight trends in donors' strategies for supporting African higher education, presenting development portfolios and case studies from France, Germany, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and the United States, among others. They suggest improvements in aid delivery, including collaboration between donors and increased communication about individual donor strategies. They also call for more networking and collaboration across higher education institutions within Africa, while noting that these face financial constraints.
The authors conclude that there is a particular need for donors to provide more support to science and technology projects — as a crucial driver of socioeconomic development.
Source: South African Journal of Science | December 2008
This paper examines the relative costs of research in South Africa and the apparent disparity in researchers' salaries. A 2004–2005 research and development survey provides data on the unit cost of research across higher education institutions (HEIs), science councils and the business sector. Analysis shows that research costs and salaries are highest in the business sector and lowest in HEIs, although the differences are not as wide as expected. Similarly, overhead costs are lowest in HEIs and highest in the business sector.
But the authors emphasise that while HEIs may provide the cheapest research — based on cost per hour — this does not mean that they necessarily provide the cheapest 'cost per deliverable', i.e. value to the client.
The authors call for more regular and detailed data to better understand the researcher labour market. They propose an annual salary survey focused on public sector researchers and a common pricing model for all institutions performing public research.
Source: Nature | October 2008
This collection of features and commentaries, published by Nature, reflects the broad spectrum of activities and opinions of members and associates of TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world.
With more than three dozen articles written by prominent scientists working on research or policy issues in the South, the collection examines a range of topics in science-based international development — from the relevance of subjects like mathematics or physics, to the increasing roles of biotechnology and renewable energy.
The achievements made and challenges still facing developing countries in key areas like agriculture, health, climate change and energy are also discussed. And evidence from across the South is presented to show how strengthening science can help achieve economic goals and what more is needed to ensure that knowledge and development are shared by all.
Source: International Journal of Biotechnology | 2005
This research article, by Rosemary Wolson at the University of Cape Town, assesses South Africa's biotechnology policies, reviewing three major initiatives — the national research and development strategy, biotechnology strategy and proposed laws to govern intellectual property rights derived from publicly funded research. Wolson explains the origins, goals and implementation of each.
The projects aim to create a coordinated strategy for promoting biotechnology in South Africa. Wolson concludes that the efforts are an encouraging sign of governmental commitment, but notes the continuing challenge of integrating the individual projects into a coherent framework. This may depend on promoting social networks to catalyse innovative industries.
She calls for the government to encourage more private enterprise and investment while remaining committed to basic research.
This article is useful to anyone hoping to understand the policy framework for biotechnology in one of sub-Saharan Africa's key scientific and industrial powers.
Source: New Partnership for Africa's Development | July 2006
This draft report of the High-Level African Panel on Modern Biotechnology recommends that African governments prioritise biotechnology as a tool to promote development and integration. The panel advises African leaders on developments in biotechnology, capacity building needs, and measures for regional cooperation and regulatory harmonisation.
The report suggests measures to develop capacity, regulate biotechnology and improve North–South and South–South collaboration. It recommends a structure based on 'local innovation areas' where clusters of innovative companies, their suppliers and service providers, universities and research institutes are all concentrated in a small area.
This draft report is subject to ongoing consultation and is likely to undergo further development. It is an essential read for anyone tracking the evolution of high-level biotechnology policies in Africa.
Source: Crop Protection | 2004
This research article assesses the potential for biotechnological approaches to overcome major pests, diseases and weeds undermining food security in Africa. The eight authors review three major constraints — parasitic weeds and herbicide-resistant grasses, insect pests, including those carrying plant diseases, and mycotoxins that damage stored grains.
They note that biotechnological solutions to some of these are already being explored, such as insect resistance in maize, but they say that others, like the control of parasitic weeds, will require longer-term study. The authors argue that these should be prioritised in public research programmes and supported by the private sector through donations of useful genes and technologies.
Their methodical discussion helps identify key priority areas for crop biotech research in Africa. This article will be useful to policy analysts, decision makers and research managers working in the field.
Source: African Union | April 2001
The African Union (AU) developed the African Model Law on Safety in Biotechnology to help countries across the continent fulfil their obligations under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and manage related issues.
The AU encourages the development of a common position on biosafety regulation (see AU Biosafety Project) across the continent. It does not have the authority to legislate on behalf of its members — but it promotes the Model Law as a framework for individual countries to use in creating their own laws and institutions.
The Model Law is being revised through an ongoing consultation process before submission to AU governments for possible adoption at national level.