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We would like to change the character of Africa from being a recipient of knowledge into becoming part of the world that creates knowledge for the world and not just Africa,” says Naledi Pandor, the South African minister of science and technology.

In this audio interview, she talks about the challenge her government faces in achieving its targets of committing 1.5 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product) to science and technology by 2019 and producing 6,000 PhDs a year by 2030.

Pandor also explains why the Ebola crisis upset her so much, recounting how “Africa seemed frozen: we didn’t have any solutions.” It is a situation she never wants to see repeated. She argues that Africa must target diseases, such as tuberculosis, that sap the continent but the rest of the world neglects.

The interview was recorded at Planet Earth Institute’s ScienceAfrica UnConference in London, United Kingdom, on 21 July. This is part of the Africa’s PhD Renaissance series funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.