According to data from the World Bank, the percentage of GDP that goes into research and development R&D in Africa varies widely. In 2019, for example, South Africa spent the most on research and development as a percentage of GDP (1.2%), followed by Tunisia (0.7%), and Egypt (0.6%). Other countries in the region spent significantly less on research and development.
There are several reasons why we might not see as many research and development partnerships between nations in Africa as we do in the Western world. Some of these reasons include:
Lack of funding: Many African countries have limited resources for research and development, which can make it difficult to support large-scale partnerships.
Limited infrastructure: In order to support research and development, countries need a robust infrastructure for education, communication, and transportation. Many African countries lack this infrastructure, which can make it difficult to facilitate partnerships.
Political instability: Political instability can make it difficult to establish and maintain long-term partnerships.
Lack of Will: This is my personal observation, yes countries have very limited resources, but we know how to find the money for wars, parades, etc… Very few African countries for example spend any money on R&D or manufacturing some of their weaponry locally. Might be a bad example, but imagine how many jobs it would create, and how many industries it will help develop on the local level and that goes for every sector. Manufacturing, and construction ….. all need R&D funding to prepare for the future.
Despite these challenges, it is still important for African countries to develop research and development partnerships because these partnerships can help to:
Increase access to technology and knowledge
Promote economic growth and development
Foster innovation and creativity to fight global warming for example.
Enhance collaboration and cooperation between nations
To further research and development in Africa, some potential steps that could be taken include:
Increasing funding for research and development: This could involve providing more resources for research and development initiatives, as well as encouraging private sector investment in research and development.
Improving infrastructure: Developing better infrastructure, such as roads, communication networks, and educational institutions, can create a more conducive environment for research and development.
Promoting collaboration: Encouraging collaboration between African countries and international partners can help to bring new ideas and technologies to the region, and can also help to build capacity for research and development.
Supporting entrepreneurship: Encouraging entrepreneurship and the development of new businesses can help to drive innovation and create new opportunities for research and development.
We claim we have limited resources, then let’s do more collaboration, and combine resources with several countries. Collaboration between countries can facilitate research and development in Africa in several ways:
Sharing resources: Collaboration between countries can allow for the sharing of resources, such as funding, research facilities, and personnel. This can help to increase the capacity for research and development in the region.
Promoting knowledge exchange: Collaboration between countries can facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise, allowing researchers in different countries to learn from one another and build on each other’s work.
Facilitating cross-border research: Collaboration between countries can allow for the conduct of cross-border research projects, which can be particularly useful in fields such as public health, where issues often transcend national borders.
Enhancing access to technology: Collaboration between countries can provide access to new technologies and knowledge that may not be readily available within a single country.
Building capacity: Collaboration between countries can help to build capacity for research and development by providing opportunities for training and professional development.
Overall, collaboration between countries can help to foster a more dynamic and innovative research and development environment in Africa, which can lead to increased economic growth and development in the region.