Voir la version complète : Global report research for Africa

23/12/2010, 12h27
Avril 2010, Thomson Reuters

For our analysis we have taken the broadest possible view as a starting point and we then progressively move in on more specific aspects of Africa’s research activity.

Our first approach to assessing African science is to divide the continent into major regions and see how each fares in terms of output. Figure 1 does this, plotting the annual number of papers for African nations aggregated into three very broad regional groups: north, central and south.
These regional groups broadly correspond to the regional scheme employed by the United Nations, although the five UN groups have been compressed into three, with the nations designated by the UN as “eastern,” “middle,” and “western” generally placed into the “central” region for the purposes of this survey.

The “south” region corresponds to the member nations of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), an inter-governmental body devoted to economic development and other measures to raise the standard of living in its constituent countries.

Two nations listed by the UN — Saint Helena and Western Sahara — are not currently included in the Thomson Reuters National Science Indicators database, from which these figures were derived.

For the years 1999 to 2008, the central region of Africa produced the smallest quantity of papers, roughly 7,100 per year, despite being the region with the greatest number of countries: more than 30. The north region actually accounted for the highest number of papers in recent years, with more than 10,500 in 2008, even though the region consists of only six countries. Similarly, the south region, although made up of only 14 countries, also produced more than 10,000 papers. This immediately points to an uneven distribution of research and innovative capacity at both country and regional levels.

For scale, it should be appreciated that the total of about 27,000 papers per year is about the same volume of published output as The Netherlands.

A breakdown of these figures demonstrates the extent to which each region — and African science as a whole — is dominated by three nations: Egypt in the north, Nigeria in the middle, and South Africa in the south. In the ten years between 1999 and 2008, for example, Egypt produced nearly 30,000 papers which was about three times the total for Tunisia, its next-place and regional neighbor. In west-central Africa, Nigeria’s total for the same period was over 10,000, compared to roughly 6,500 for Kenya which is the leading research economy in the east of the continent. South Africa’s dominance, as might be expected, is even more pronounced: nearly 47,000 papers during 1999-2008, compared to the southern region’s next-most-prolific nation, Tanzania, which fielded just over 3,000.

The leading countries by output (Figure 2) are South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia, Algeria and Kenya. Four of these are also leading countries in terms of GDP (Figure 3) (South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria and Algeria) while Kenya and Tunisia fall in the second GDP tier. Indexing output against GDP (Figure 4) provides further interpretation. Zimbabwe is relatively the most productive country but this is anomalous because it retains its legacy research base despite a collapsing economy and very low current GDP. The real leaders are Tunisia and Malawi with very different economic bases but strong relative productivity in both cases. South Africa, Kenya and Egypt all have significant relative productivity, as do a number of other countries in East Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania) and West Africa. (Cameroon, Ghana).
It is clear, however, that despite Nigeria’s high volume output it is not returning as much research as would be expected given the size of its economy. The value of its resources is not yet being felt in its knowledge base. In fact, the same research productivity gap between resources and investment applies to several other countries. This is an area where Africa is not yet benefitting from the best use of its own natural resources.


23/12/2010, 13h14
tout l'article ==> http://researchanalytics.thomsonreuters.com/m/pdfs/globalresearchreport-africa.pdf

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