There is evidence that Africa is rising but the quality of growth and its impact on the welfare of the citizens of the continent remains an issue of significant concern. Optimists point to falling poverty rate and levels in African countries and the graduation of a number of African countries into middle income status. Others caution that this growth has, in large part, been fuelled by a commodities boom and factor accumulation rather than total factor productivity growth (TFPG). As such, African countries must quickly transform from low productivity to high productivity economies in order to achieve the desired level of welfare. As history of the developed and newly developed countries has shown, this can only realistically and sustainably be achieved through the deliberate application of science, technology and innovation (STI).
While the renewed emphasis in Africa (and in the international community) on the role of science technology and innovation in the emerging development context is welcome, very little however is known about the preparedness/readiness of African countries to harness STI to advance their development agenda and to meet internationally agreed development goals. To these ends, NTIS, is developing a methodological framework for the preparation of Country STI profiles/ Country STI readiness reports. The framework will be data-intensive and will be based on a combination of economic and STI indicators.
The economic and STI indicators are generally well known but choosing the indicators that accurately capture and reflect a balanced reality, in terms of assessing readiness, need careful consideration. As such, the Expert Group Meeting is intended to assist ECA to enhance the methodological framework for undertaking and preparing country science, technology and innovation readiness reports and country STI profiles.
Specifically, the experts will:
- Review the current methodological framework for measuring STI Readiness of a country and make suggestions to improve the accuracy of the framework
- Review and help improved the uniqueness and value-added of the framework in comparison to existing tools
- Review and recommend the best options for presenting the STI profiles, including its application and interpretation at the national and regional levels
- Address data collection and availability at national and regional level as well as key partnerships that can hep improve any gaps in data collection
Chief, New Technologies and Innovation Section
Special Initiatives Division
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
P. O. Box 3005
Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA