New Publication: Science, Technology and Innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa


The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre has published a new report by Transformative Innovation Africa Hub (TIAH) lead Chux Daniels and colleagues. The report introduces a preliminary mapping of the Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) systems in Africa with the purpose of assessing countries’ readiness to develop STI for SDGs roadmaps. Fourteen Sub-Saharan African countries are identified with high potential for STI for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Roadmaps, encompassing political stability, STI frameworks, and strategies. The report explores these countries’ socio-economic conditions, sustainability challenges, and STI ecosystems. Key components include institutional capacities, regional sustainable development dimensions, STI ecosystems, SDG progress, and existing STI networks. Limitations arise from data availability, and the report is positioned as an introductory overview for future exploration.

While the selected countries meet basic conditions, significant developmental variations persist, marked by economic challenges such as a large informal economy and limited financial inclusion. Socially, high poverty rates, educational hurdles, and gender inequalities impede growth. The report highlights the vulnerability of Africa to climate change impacts, hindering SDG achievement. Urgent STI interventions are emphasized, acknowledging that these solutions must extend beyond technology to include effective policies, strong institutions, stakeholder engagement, skills development, and governance.

The uneven progress in SDG achievement is noted. The report calls for a reassessment of STI contributions to SDGs, considering local nuances. The final section examines STI networks in SSA to inform discussions on meaningful inputs. Fourteen country factsheets accompany the general analysis, offering insights into development challenges, STI frameworks, key players, and SDG progress for each country. Overall, the report sets the stage for comprehensive STI for SDGs Roadmaps, supporting the definition of tailored strategies to address localised challenges across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The full report can be accessed here: https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC136600

To cite this report: Daniels, C., Sarcina, A., Arranz Sevillano, P., Janosov, M., Zhu, M., Giuliani, D. and With, L., Science, Technology and Innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2023, doi:10.2760/581502, JRC136600.