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An enabling Scientific Equipment Policy in Africa

Published: 2014-04-28

IFS and AAS with MacArthur support have undertaken Country Studies and National Scientific Equipment Policy Workshops in Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya, reviewing effectiveness of science equipment policies of key organisations and mapping the national and regional research and policy landscape.

In follow-up from the “Conference on Getting and Using Equipment for Scientific Research in Africa”, held in Nairobi in May 2012, the International Foundation for Science (IFS) and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) are continuing their collaboration through the implementation of the MacArthur Foundation-funded project on scientific equipment policy development and change, along with partner organisations in Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya.

A full description of the background to this year-long project can be read in the Briefing Document from IFS and AAS: Addressing Equipment challenges in Development-related Scientific Research in Africa.

Informed by the discussions and outcomes of the Inception Workshop held in Nairobi on 4-5 November 2013, the project has undertaken Country Studies with national co-facilitators in Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya to review the effectiveness of science equipment policies[1] of key organisations in relation to organisational structures and systems; and to map the national and regional research and policy landscape (January – March 2014) and National Scientific Equipment Policy Workshops in Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana (one-and-a-half days each, back-to-back, March-April 2014)

On April 1st Graham Haylor and Berhanu Abergaz met with Dr Mahama Ouedraogo, the Head of the Science and Technology Division of the African Union Commission and Mr Hambani Masheleni, Senior Policy Officer Human Resources, Science and Technology Department. Dr Mahama Ouedraogo highlighted the relevance of this issue to Africa and the AUC and he suggested that the role for the AU was in policy aspects and the scalability of operation. It was agreed that developing an enabling Scientific Equipment Policy in Africa was an important subject to boost and support science across Africa and that it was very appropriate to collaborate with the AUC to highlight this issue, which Dr. Mahama Ouedraogo said “was needed yesterday not tomorrow”.

Mahama Ouedraogo suggested that the key messages emerging from the project might justifiable receive follow up as a Pan-African Parlimentary Agenda Item to promote an Enabling Scientific Equipment Policy in Africa in the constituencies of the Member States, and that it may be appropriate to take this to the Ministerial level in due course.

[1]or practices, procedures and guidelines, where policies do not exist


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