3 strategies for Africa to thrive in this new era of globalization

Africa 2019

(Harshil Gudka, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Sampson Kofi Adotey, Communications and Policy, Next Einstein Forum


Africa’s contribution to global scientific knowledge stands at 1.1%. Currently, the ratio between scientist and inhabitants stands at 79 scientists per million inhabitants, the lowest in the world. At the same time, scientists trained in Africa often end up working elsewhere due to the lack of infrastructure and availability of resources.

Globalization 4.0 presents Africa with a unique opportunity to position itself as a knowledge-led economy and to harness its demographic dividend – the youth – in addressing its grand challenges. Researchers have proved beyond doubt that knowledge and science-driven development is key to the socio-economic growth and wellbeing of the people of a given country.

A quick scan on the internet reveals, however, that Africa has no synthesis centres, which foster collaborative research by bringing interdisciplinary groups of specialists and experts together. This is a huge obstacle to addressing the continent’s challenges.

Synthesis centres present a unique opportunity for Africa to assemble its human capital to hypothesize, conduct research, and co-curate solutions for grand challenges, such as unemployment, climate change, and poverty, through interdisciplinary collaboration.

Global investment in R&D, 2007
Image: UNESCO

Essentially, Africa would have to connect science to humanity by applying a systems-based approach to problem-solving and opportunities available today. To succeed in this new era of globalization, Africa should adopt these three key strategies:

1. Regional synthesis centres as a critical research infrastructure

Today, there exist over 40 ministries responsible for National Science and Technology policies in Africa. However, there are compelling problems we have to resolve in other to enable these institutions to carry out their mandate.

Africa would have to set up a network of Pan-African regional synthesis centres that offer a unique coalescence of leadership, culture, infrastructure, and support that propels scientific discovery on issues crucial to science and society.

Backed by huge investments from both the public and private sector, a combination of logistical support, postdoctoral fellowships (for social, fundamental and applied scientists), Artificial Intelligence expertise, and most importantly, an opportunity for group discussions and reflections, would provide an opportunity to promote creativity and the cross-fertilization of ideas.

2. Addressing Africa’s grand challenges through knowledge brokering

The importance of translating research evidence into policymaking and practice is essential in improving the socio-economic progress of Africa. Our inability to do so in the past has led to wasted resources and inequalities in health among others. Moreover, in spreading and supporting the use of research evidence, knowledge brokering plays a significant role in the creation of research evidence.

A key strategy in knowledge brokering is to assist decision makers to commission research through the synthesis centres by identifying and transforming their issues into clearly articulated research questions. The output of these regional synthesis centres becomes key to addressing our challenges such as climate change, poverty, and health problems among others.

3. Promoting public understanding in science through science communication

In today’s world, we must communicate our scientific endeavours effectively in order to build trust in science. According to the Wellcome Global Monitor 2018, over half (57%) of the world’s population don’t think they know much – if anything – about science. Globally, 20% of people feel personally excluded from the benefits of science.

How then do we reverse this situation? There is no doubt that the products of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics have enormous potential to improve the livelihoods of the estimated 2.2 billion people expected to live in Africa by 2050, and counteract environmental threats.

Communicating about science, online and in our cities, rural and urban areas is crucial in building an inclusive science-driven society, bridging the gap between the scientific community and everyone else.

Investing in making science popular in Africa provides a unique opportunity to solve the problem of unemployment. These investments would not only help build capacity in developing both high and low-tech solutions but would also drive the progress of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the continent.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Measles claims more than twice as many lives than Ebola in DR Congo

COP21 Breaking News: Conference of Youth Focuses on Hard Skills to Drive Greater Climate Action

Bolivia: UN underlines support for ‘credible, transparent and inclusive’ election

On Youth Education: “Just a normal day in the life of a medical student”

Investment Plan for Europe: European Investment Bank to provide BioNTech with up to €100 million in debt financing for COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing

Wars have rules: 5 things the UN humanitarian chief wants countries to tackle so human suffering in conflict can be minimized

Continue ‘their mission’ urges UN chief, as the victims of the Baghdad bombing are remembered, 15 years on

Global public-private collaboration tackles cybersecurity skills gap

Mobility package: Transport Committee backs deal with EU Ministers

Can the EU really make Google and Facebook pay publishers and media?

Eurozone guarantees all banks with…taxpayers’ money

Nauru President warns of possible climate change ‘economic Armageddon’

Trump aims trade offensive solely to China, renews truce with EU

UN underlines need for dialogue to resolve Israel-Palestine conflict

Security Council extends mandate of UN Interim Force in Lebanon for a year

5G and the growing need for national CTOs

FROM THE FIELD: Enslaved Guatemalan indigenous women wait for reparations

COVID-19 reminds us of the crucial role nurses play

Coronavirus: Member States agree on an interoperability solution for mobile tracing and warning apps

‘Transformational benefits’ of ending outdoor defecation: Why toilets matter

UN health agency to gauge global threat, as China confirms coronavirus transmission between humans

20 years on from landmark Mine Ban Treaty, dangers on the rise to life and limb

UN health agency launches week of action to ban lead paint

These countries have some of the highest voter turnout in the world

Property regimes for international couples in Europe: new rules apply in 18 Member States as of today

MEPs condemn attacks on civilians, including children, in Yemen

Germany may prove right rejecting Commission’s bank resolution scheme

Do we judge robots on their colour? This study says we do

The European Parliament rewrites the EU budget in a bright day for the Union

President David Sassoli to visit Skopje: “Remain on the European track”

Brexit negotiations: Can May’s Britain bounce back?

Eurozone: Despite anemic growth and shaky banks marks record trade surplus

UN investigates systematic sexual violence across South Sudan

Mobile 360 Africa 11-13 July 2017

This start-up is making a palm oil alternative from used coffee grounds

Deeper reforms in Germany will ensure more inclusive and sustainable growth

EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: EUR 400 million Special Measure on education adopted

European Defence Fund: €205 million to boost the EU’s strategic autonomy and industrial competitiveness

State aid: Commission approves €3 billion Portuguese guarantee schemes for SMEs and midcaps affected by Coronavirus outbreak

How COVID-19 is making companies act for the long term

How can the EU hit net-zero emissions?

Here’s why the world’s recovery from COVID-19 could be doughnut shaped

Antitrust: Commission consults stakeholders on guidance for national courts when handling disclosure information

IMF: All you want to know about Argentina

The issues of practicing medicine in Pakistan

Resolving Israel-Palestinian conflict, ‘key to sustainable peace’ in the Middle East: Guterres

European Fund for Transition to support more workers made redundant

These are the most desirable cities for overseas workers

Syria: UN chief warns Idlib offensive may set off ‘humanitarian catastrophe’

Peace operations benefit from improved cooperation between the UN and troop-providing countries, says peacekeeping chief

At epicentre of Indonesia disaster, Guterres praises resilience of Sulawesi people

The ethical dilemmas of medicine

MWC 2016 LIVE: The top 5 themes of this year’s Mobile World Congress

Nuclear testing has ‘disastrous consequences’ for people and planet, General Assembly told

Security Council welcomes Yemen breakthrough, but lasting peace remains a ‘daunting task’

Jeroen Dijsselbloem new Eurogroup president

At last some rules on banks

Most leaders are missing this crucial character trait

Parliament backs measures to cut e-commerce VAT fraud

5 ways to break down the barriers for women to access leadership roles

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s