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Rich nations are unlikely to propel the cause of African science forward at the G8 summit meeting in Italy next week (8–10 July).

Commitments made at previous G8 meetings — in particular the 2005 Gleneagles Summit in the UK, where rich nations endorsed proposals to create centres of excellence in science and technology across the continent — remain unfulfilled, says Mohamed Hassan of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS).

And a science and international development meeting organised by TWAS and the Italian ministry last week (26 June) focused on Afghanistan — African science was not discussed.

But although a lot of the blame lies with the G8, the failure of most African nations to invest what they promised to in science is also a factor, says Hassan. "African governments have to put their house in order first. If they show progress in investing in science and technology, this will encourage donors."

And others say that tensions over who should be responsible for African science and technology aid are also a problem. Africa still has no comprehensive plan for science that the donor community can get behind and support, they say.

Link to full article in Nature

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