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2017 ACR

25 Jan, 2017

The 2017 Africa Capacity Report shows that capacity in its various dimensions, though improving, remains a problem for African economies generally, not just for Science Technology and Innovation (STI). But a more important message emerges: even though two-thirds of African countries have STI policies and strategies, their capacity to implement them remains very low.

Most African countries have underdeveloped STI institutions and fail to effectively generate and deploy knowledge and technological innovations for socioeconomic growth. This challenge largely reflects how STI institutions are adequately staffed with skills, expertise, financial resources, infrastructural capabilities, and equipment. Encouragingly, the Report shows that it is possible to build STI institutions and use them for socioeconomic transformation, with a good number of African countries providing practical success stories based on strategies and initiatives that can easily be adapted to other countries.

Notably, despite the growing emphasis on the importance of STI for Africa’s development, significant capacity bottlenecks still hinder countries from using STI in national development. Evidence suggests that African countries lack specific human and institutional capacities, critical technical skills, and resources to promote STI. To some extent, the capacity lag in STI is linked to the investment priorities of African countries, which have yet to convert their political commitments into practical programs for STI-based development. The current average of African spending on research and development (R&D) stands at about 0.5 percent—below the one percent of GDP pledged in 1980 and again in 2005. Unless countries build STI capacities to innovate and promote STI for development, Africa risks being left behind in the race toward inclusive globalization. 

Among the key findings, the Report shows that 91 percent of the 44 surveyed African countries consider training a High or Very High priority in STI. Other areas also rated as High or Very High priority were information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure (80 percent), patent rights and trademarks (80 percent), investment (75 percent), production/publication of scientific papers (72 percent), policy/strategy (70 percent), regulation/laws (65 percent).

The remarkable achievements ACBF has registered over the past 26 years is not by accident in our opinion. They have come through hard work, dedication, commitment, purposeful leadership, support from the member countries as well as productive partnership building.

Mr. Lamin Momodou MANNEH, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa , ,

The recognition of ACBF as the African Union’s Specializes Agency for Capacity Development launches the beginning of a new era for capacity building by ACBF, which will require an appropriate level of political commitment and financial support from all stakeholders.

H.E. Erasmus Mwencha, Chair, ACBF Executive Board , ,

Ghana’s partnership with ACBF is a tremendous blessing for us and therefore the opportunity for Ghana to host the 26th ACBF Board of Governors Meeting is something that we treasure. 

Hon Ken Ofori Atta – Minister of Finance, Ghana , ,

Africa needs ACBF as much, probably more now, than at the time it was created in 1991.

Hon. Goodall Gondwe, Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance – Malawi , ,

ACBF has been granted the status of a specialized agency because of the potential to transform Africa through capacity development.


H.E. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, AU Commission , ,
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