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SciDev.Net and UNESCO partner-up on profiling success stories of Africa’s science

A new book profiles a range of success examples where Africa’s research has been harnessed for the benefit of its population: creating jobs, opportunities and better livelihoods.

Africa’s Minds: Build a Better Future is a collection of 11 African science, technology and innovation (ST&I) success stories from across the continent and in a range of sectors.

The book will be launched at UNESCO Africa Week in Paris today, in both English and French, and will be made available through the SciDev.Net website, both as a pdf and as individual online stories. It was produced by SciDev.Net in association with UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), with funding support from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

The stories are written by African reporters based in Africa, and contain interviews with project leaders as well as local people affected by those projects. The topics range from education, health and agriculture to capacity building and innovation.

Nick Perkins, director of SciDev.Net, said: “It is important to show that Africa is building its capacity to produce scientific evidence and technological innovation for two reasons. First, because science and technology are behind all of the great successes in global development and we know that poverty and vulnerability still affect a large number of people in the continent. Secondly, and at least as importantly, African countries know they must move away from commodity-based economies to excel in the twenty-first century and this booklet is full of promising stories of such transformation.”

UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova said: “Scientific knowledge and new forms of innovation have the power to transform how we live and improve our daily lives. This booklet aims to share how creative men and women in Africa are working to design sustainable and inclusive solutions to issues such as food security, disease control and environmental sustainability.”

Ahmad Mohamed Ali, president of the IDB, said: “This brochure, prepared in collaboration with UNESCO, showcases success stories that highlight the African-led scientific and technological solutions to the continent’s various problems. All the stories provide empirical evidence on how ST&I can ensure success and sustainability in Africa’s development process while sensitivity toward social and cultural diversity is kept in view.”

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