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Science, Technology and Innovation
in supporting Africa’s industrial
Development
Francis Gudyanga, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of
Science and Technology,ZIMBABWE
[email protected]
Outline of Presentation
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Introduction
Review of the CODIST II Concept Note Paper
Review of the CODIST II Keynote Speech
Africa’s performance on some global STI
Indicators
Africa’s Comparative Advantages
Lessons for Africa from other regions
Africa’s options/imperatives
Recommendations
INTRODUCTION
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Modern industrial development requires know-how and capacity to adopt, disseminate, and
implement science and technology for practical uses.
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Many African countries associated with natural resources and raw materials. Even with this
comparative advantage, except for South Africa, most of the economies have either stagnated or
grown slowly.
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Building S&T capacity requires investment in R&D which must compete with other spending
priorities of the state; nonetheless, STI are indispensable tools for achieving these other priority
objectives.
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COSTID II 2011 is timely to reinforce the importance of STI to industrial development

Africa is not completely homogenous; there are disparities between different countries and regions
in the continent. Three groups in terms of technological advancement: South Africa, North Africa,
Sub-Sahara Africa
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Differences between African countries minor compared to disparities between Africa and other
regions. Challenges and opportunities throughout the continent are similar. Throughout this
presentation Africa will be presented as one.
Review of the CODIST II Concept paper
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Well researched and referenced
Balanced
Sets the right scene
Reminds us of previous declarations by
African governments on the importance of
STI
Notes that declarations not matched with
requisite financial allocations to STI
programmes
REVIEW OF THE KEYNOTE SPEECH
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Well structured paper
Broad overview of the status of STI in Africa
Information of the WB and ADB
North Africa grouped with Middle East
Manufacturing picked as an illustrative case to characterise Africa’s industialisation
Competitive Industrial Performance Index (CIP), the Global Competitive Index (GCI) and the
Knowledge Economy Index (KEI) used for comparative analysis.
The paper picks also Tunisia in Africa for detailed comparison with India and Malaysia and draw
lessons for the rest of Africa.
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The paper arrives as the same conclusion as arrived at using other set of indicators. The
conclusion is that Africa’s industrial performance is dismal.
The paper gives detailed definitions of Innovation and the complex National Innovations Systems
to assist policy makers to understand these concepts with a view to making informed policy
decisions.
On STI the paper recommends investment in extensive training and research as necessary steps
toward transforming the continent into a knowledge society. He wisely recommends
concentrating the limited resources towards well targeted research.
Indicators of the Technology Achievement Index (TAI)
Type of Indicator
Indicator
Patents
Creation of
Technology
Royalties
Internet
Diffusion of recent Exports
innovation
Telephones
Diffusion of old
innovations
Electricity
Schooling
Human Skills
University
TAI Ranking of 67 selected countries
Leaders
Potential
Leaders
Dynamic
Adopters
Marginalised
TAI: > 0.5
TAI: 0.35-049
TAI: 0.2-0.34
TAI: <0.2
17 countries
15 countries
26 countries
8 countries
No African country No African country 5 African
countries
6 African
countries
This group is at the
cutting edge of
technological
innovation
Technology diffusion
and skill building have
a long way to go; Most
African countries
belong to this group
Most of these countries
have invested in high
levels of human skills;
have diffused old
technologies widely
Countries are dynamic
in the use of new
technologies; most are
developing countries
with important hightech industries.
Region
World
High Tech High Tech
Imports
Exports
GERD as
% of
GDP
Researchers
Publications
Patents
GDP
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100
America
21.4
17.7
37.9
25.4
35.3
43.2
31.3
Europe
34.2
36.0
27.4
29.5
42.5
27.8
29.0
Africa
1.4
0.3
0.9
2.2
2.0
0.1
3.9
41.7
45.8
32.2
40.9
30.7
31.9
34.5
1.3
0.2
1.6
2.0
3.4
1.8
1.4
Asia
Oceania
Ranking of regions by the above indicators
1
2
3
4
5
Asia
Europe
Americas
Africa
Oceania
Asia
Europe
Americas
Africa
Oceania
Americas
Asia
Europe
Oceania
Africa
Asia
Europe
Americas
Africa
Oceania
Europe
Americas
Asia
Oceania
Africa
America
Asia
Europe
Oceania
Africa
Asia
Americas
Europe
Africa
Oceania
Imports
Exports
GERD
Researchers
Publications
Patents
GDP
Indicators point to
Africa’s
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Poverty
Food insecurity
Diseases
Poor infrastructure
Industrial stagnation
etc
HDI: Composite measure of health, education and income
AFRICA’S COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGES
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Natural Resources
African oil
Minerals
Fresh water – Lake Victoria, Lake Volta, Kariba Dam
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Oceans – Atlantic and Indian Oceans
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Hydroelectric value
Fishing, mining and offshore oil drilling
Human capital
“Take it back: Europe’s new auto recycling
laws,” – Stephen Power, p. W15, WSJE
(April 21-23, 2006)
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Automakers required to “recycle 85% of a vehicle by
weight, rising to 95 % in 2015”
“Automakers are increasingly using synthetic materials,
such as reinforced plastics, to lower the vehicle weight and
emissions. Those materials are much harder to recycle
than conventional non-synthetic materials”
DaimlerChrysler….has begun building Mercedes-Benz cars
with exteriors made partly of a type of banana-plant fiber
that is both more biodegradable and lighter than exteriors
made from conventional glass fibers”
Resource Curse
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“Almost without exception, the resource-abundant
countries have stagnated in economic growth since
the early 1970s, inspiring the term, ‘curse of natural
resources’. Empirical studies have shown that this
curse is a reasonably solid fact…..Except for the
direct contribution of the natural resource sector
itself, …natural resource abundant countries
systematically failed to achieve strong export led
growth or other kinds of growth”
- Sachs and Warner, European Economic Rev.,
45, 827-838 (2001)
Resource Curse
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“Economic growth since 1965 has varied inversely
with the share of natural capital in national wealth
across countries….”
“Natural capital appears to crowd out human capital,
thereby slowing down the pace of economic
development”
“..nations that believe that natural capital is their
most important asset may develop a false sense of
security and become negligent about the
accumulation of human capital”
- Gylfason, European Economic Rev., 45, 847859 (2001)
Minerals and Africa’s Knowledge
Economy
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Can “large-scale
investments in
exploration,
transportation, geological
knowledge, and the
technologies of
extraction, refining, and
utilization” help to
transform Africa’s
minerals sector into “a
leading edge of the
knowledge economy” in
the continent?
Challenge: Sustainable Development
via Export of Unprocessed Metal Ores?
10000000
1000000
Discovery
100000
Copper, Gg
10000
Extraction
1000
100
Copper; after Gordon et al., Proceed. Nat.
Acad. Sci., 103, 1209 (2006)
10
1
1750
1800
1850
1900
Year
1950
2000
2050
Leveraging natural resources
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African cartels of commodities
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Platinum, diamond, cobalt, chromite, coffee, etc
Funding capacity building and R&D in
exchange for access to natural resources
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University infrastructure,chairs and scholarships
R&D centres and programmes
Lessons from China and India
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China: more traditional labour intensive export strategy
India: a new knowledge intensive service export strategy
Traditional Industrial policies from both China and India
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Protection of infant industries
Direct state ownership
Selective credit allocation
Favourable tax treatment to specific industries
Tariff and non-tariff barriers to imports
Restrictions on FDI
Local content requirements
Special IPR policies
Government procurement
Promotion of large domestic firms
SMEs: reserved by law certain products
Massive investment in Higher Education
Lessons from India and China (cont.)
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Modern industrial policies
 Strategies for tapping into global knowledge: Trade,
FDI, technology licensing, copying and reverse
engineering, foreign education and training, accessing
information in print and internet, large market pull,
Technology parks to attract diaspora;
 Increased spending in R&D for MNCs to do R&D
locally
 MNCs setting up R&D centres for developing products
for global markets
 Cost-effectiveness: hiring relatively low-wage
scientists and engineers
Lessons from India and China (Cont.)
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Africa’s challenges not experienced by India
& China
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Economies of scale - large domestic markets
Competitive low labour-intensive export products
Africa not integrated yet into global supply and
distribution chains through MNCs and vast
diaspora
India and China now exporting technology
intensive goods
Africa’s other challenges
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Tighter international trade regulations
Pressure to reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers – GATT
Stronger rules about subsidies and other indirect support
to special industries
Stronger teeth to enforce IPR regulations
Market economy much more global market
No economies of scale in purchasing, branding,
advertising and distribution
No critical mass of highly educated professionals to
power rapid move up the technology ladder
Africa’s action in support of STI-led industrial
development
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Political level
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Political commitment and leadership of STI
Informed STI policies
Policy consistencies
Industrial/trade policy interventions in support of
STI
Harmonisation of national policies to bring better
integration of cross-cutting STI policies
Act in concert at regional and continental level
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Economies of scale; cartels on commodities
Action Africa need to take (cont.)
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Investment in education
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Primary education
Secondary education – science biased curiculum
Higher Education – strongly oriented towards the
acquisition of knowledge, reinforcement of critical
skills; central to the knowledge society
Postgraduate and doctoral studies
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Meaningful and serious innovations to meet global
challenges
PhD holders needed to train the next generation of
scientists and engineers
Action Africa need to take (cont.)
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Massive investment in R&D
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1% GERD over GDP
Niche areas and/or emerging technologies where
there are prospects of leapfrogging
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Materials research – nanotechnology
Biotechnology
ICT
Renewable energy
etc
Materials Research
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Capitalising on Africa’s natural resources
Need to develop locally suited materials
Africa Materials Research Society (AMRS)
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Formed in 2002 in Daka, Senegal
A NEPAD flagship programme under the
Consolidated Plan of Action
Developing materials research capacity in Africa
The only continental body of professionals
dedicated to the research on materials
AMRS Conferences
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2003
South Africa
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2005
Morocco
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2007
Tanzania
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2009
Nigeria
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2011
Zimbabwe
Africa-MRS Conference in Victoria Falls 11-16 December 2011
www.africamrs.co.za
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Themes for the AMRS conference 2011
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Materials Education and Networking
Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology
Basic Sciences of Materials
Materials for Energy and Sustainability – fuel cells
Infrastructure materials (cement and concrete)
Raw materials beneficiation and Mineral
processing
Materials for Life, Health and the Environment
Frontiers of Materials Research
RECOMMENDATIONS
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Political commitment and leadership on STI
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Investment in education: (attentions to PhDs)
Investment in R&D
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Industrial/trade intervention policies
African cartels on commodities
Support of STI in exchange of Access to
resources
Commitment to 1% of GDP
Research in niche areas
Support for African-MRS (a CPA flagship)
THANK YOU