Morocco and others emerge frontliners in implementing STI for development
By Maxwell Awumah, GNA Hohoe (V/R), April 7, GNA - The African Capacity Report (ACR) 2017 has named Morocco, Tanzania and Rwanda as the frontliners in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) on the continent.
The ranking by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) attributes their impressive performance to an excellent policy environment which allows for implementation of national STI projects.
The report, available to the Ghana News Agency, said Morocco scored 71.6 marks, Tanzania 68.8 marks and Rwanda at 68.2 marks.
Ghana, however, ranked at the 18th position out of 44 countries which took part in the assessment, with 54.1 marks.
Other countries ahead of Ghana include Kenya, Ethiopia, Gambia, Namibia, Liberia and Lesotho with Mauritius, Cape Verde, Tunisia, the Gambia, Mali, Malawi and Burkina Faso completing the first 10 ranking.
Central Africa Republic, Swaziland, Mauritania and Guinea Bissau occupies the 44th, 43rd, 42nd and 41st positions and scored 33.1; 35.3; 40.8 and 41.8 marks respectively.
The index value is measured as the assessment of the policy environment, implementation and development results at country level and capacity development outcomes.
This means that Morocco, Tanzania and Rwanda have an enabling policy environment which allows for effective implementation of STI projects and programmes in their countries.
Whereas Ghana's Science, Technology and Innovation policy, had undergone several fine-tuning with the latest review in 2013, setting the grounds to facilitate the promotion, co-ordination and regulation of the progress of STI to entrench science, technology and innovation into the national production system for economic development, only 0.4 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) supported research and development (R&D) in 2016, according to UNESCO Institute of Statistics.
The current average of Africa's spending on R&D stood at about 0.5 percent, which is below the one percent of GDP pledged in 1980 and again in 2005 as binding commitments from the African Union.
Japan, US and China commits 3.6 per cent, 2.7 per cent and 2 per cent respectively, of their GDP to R&D.
The report said unless African countries build STI capacities and innovation and promote STI for development, the continent risks being left behind in the race toward inclusive globalisation.
Professor Emmanuel Nnadozie, Executive Secretary of ACBF, said ACR focuses on understanding the imperatives, key determinants and components of capacity for development for STI to accelerate and engineer Africa's transformation.
He said ACBF remained committed to coordinate STI capacity development to meet its 2017-2021 strategy in support of AUC in ensuring that STI becomes the enabler in implementing agenda 2063.
"We look forward to strengthening these partnerships with development and multilateral entities as we continue to build human and institutional capacity and knowledge societies for Africa's sustainable development.
The report recommends that African governments and the African Union must vigorously pursue new and innovative funding alliances involving bilateral and multilateral donors, governments and non-state actors like private foundations and businesses.
It entreated regional bodies to develop and implement coherent strategies for establishing regional STI systems as nested networks of national STI systems with differentiated capacities and competences.
The ACR 2017 was themed: "Building capacity for STI for Africa's transformation." GNA