KIGALI, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Lack of coherent national innovation policies have been identified as threats towards achieving social and economic transformation in Africa, according to scientists.
Science and technology experts attending an ongoing regional science and technology meeting in the Rwandan capital Kigali said that Africa is lacking innovative policies to increase the prosperity of Africans by catalyzing the innovation spirit on the continent.
The meeting, the first of its kind, has brought together scientists, scholars, international research partners, policymakers and entrepreneurs as well as civil society from Africa and beyond to develop a guiding framework for the development and application of science, technology and innovation to accelerate the socio-economic development in the region.
"Africa has fallen behind the rest of the world's economies because of poor innovation policies, lack of research and poor government regulatory policies to accelerate innovation among young Africans. We want to see needs-based innovation and change happen. We shouldn't wait for innovative ideas to come from outside Africa," said Prof George Ekosse, Director of Research and Innovation, University of Venda, South Africa.
He added Africa is still deeply underperforming in core areas that will redesign its economy and make it more sustainable.
According to Prof. Emilia Afonso Nhalevilo, vice-president of Africa engagement at Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association, innovation in Africa remains challenged by lack of access to capital, poor regulation on property rights, poor technical manpower, and inadequate infrastructure.
"Africa's reliance on commodities remains its weakest link, causing cyclical trade shocks which have hindered economic growth on the continent. African nations need to make technology and innovation a strategic priority in order to liberate the continent from the oppressive dominance of globalization," he noted.
The meeting also highlighted a number of critical challenges facing the development of science and technology in Africa, such as low science and technology capacity, low investment in research, poor infrastructural development and a lack of access to helpful scientific ideas. Enditem