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Crop Biotech Update

Africa Needs to Increase S&T Investment

July 29, 2011

For Africa to become more competitive in global science, it must increase investment in human capital development, strengthen scientific institutions and equipment, and fund science at significantly higher levels. These recommendations were forwarded in a document African Innovation Outlook 2010 prepared by the African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (ASTII) project, and released by the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

A total of 19 African countries were covered in the document. Areas covered included economic and human development challenges, research and development activities, innovation, and recommendations for addressing the challenges identified. Only three countries – Malawi, Uganda and South Africa – spent more than 1% of gross domestic product on R&D, a target set by the African Union in 2006. The public sector comprising the government and higher education sectors accounted for majority of R&D expenditure in all countries surveyed.

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