By Paul Ndiho
As the world increasingly adapts to the information age, it’s clear that science and technology will be important to every country’s growth and prosperity. For Africa, the development of science and technology is needed for a continent where poverty is rampant. African governments are in constant need of scientific and technical advice on issues such as education, energy policy, disease control, and environmental management.
There is growing recognition that Africa can strengthen its economic performance only through considerable investment using new knowledge. Good governance in Africa is considered not possible without a sound scientific basis for decision-making.
Africa is faced with a set of specific problems, ranging from agricultural production to health, for which scientific, engineering, agricultural, medical and social skills are urgently needed.
David King is the chief scientific advisor for the United Kingdom.
He says, “Long-term economic transformation in Africa will need to be guided by effective science and technology advice. Ongoing political reforms in Africa have coincided with the growing realization that economic growth is mainly a result of the transformation of knowledge expressed in the form of education, science and technology and the associated institutions into goods and services.”
Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili is the Vice President of the Africa Region for the World Bank. She says, “The degree of technological competency of African economies will play an increasingly decisive role in their success as global competitors. African knowledge institutions should be repositioning themselves to strengthen capacity in fundamental disciplines of science, and technology.”
Many of Africa’s individual states are no longer considered viable economic entities; and some say their future lies in creating trading partnerships with neighboring countries. However, some African countries are seen as starting to take economic integration seriously — an idea first promoted by the late Kwame Nkrumah, who led Ghana to independence in 1957.