Transnational science and technology co-operation in Africa : an evaluation of selected institutions and programmes

Teng-Zeng, Frank Kannigenye (2002-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In the aftermath of the Second World War, the development challenges facing Third World countries - those that were independent, those emerging from colonialism and those still under colonialism - led to the proliferation of bilateral and multilateral development institutions. These institutions were intended to assist the developing countries in terms of the provision of both human (technical) skills and material resources as well as to formulate programmes that would promote co-operation for socio-economic development and transformation. If the enormous development problems facing Africa including poverty, hunger, disease can be alleviated, then multilateral institutions have a major role to play in its scientific and technological development as well as in helping to create the appropriate institutional mechanisms for regional and sub-regional co-operation in science and technology (S&T) in Africa. The United Nations system, including UN-affiliated institutions, has therefore come to represent the best hope of realising the dream of most developing countries in their quest for development, due to its institutional capacity to provide development assistance as well as influence the international development agenda which affects Africa. For example, among the institutions in this study, the World Bank Group remains the biggest donor organisation in terms of the funding of development projects and programmes. UNESCO has a leading role as the UN agency whose mandate relates directly to S&T development and peace. The ECA is the representative body of the UN in Africa and therefore able to influence the direction of development policy and programmes. Similarly, the need to develop also led African countries to establish their own regional and sub-regional institutions for co-operation to draw together both human and material resources. However, the development issues discussed and promoted in the developing world over the years have focused more on national income, terms of trade, market access and in recent times on structural adjustment and poverty reduction strategy programmes. But the most important aspect of the development process - the knowledge capability gap (in terms of S&T) - has been much neglected especially at the regional and sub-regional levels. Therefore, in using regional and sub-regional levels of analyses, the research project looks at the programmes supported by the following institutions: the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the World Bank, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the African Development Bank (AIDB), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Thus the study uses a theorydriven evaluation based on INEXSK (INfrastructure, EXperience and Skills, and Knowledge) approach broadly, to investigate the extent to which these multilateral institutions live up to their stated goals of improving the knowledge base for development in the African continent. An important aspect of the study also entails a historical review of science, technology and institutional co-operation in Africa. Furthermore, an important outcome of the study reveals the lack of functional regional and sub-regional organisational frameworks to promote rigorous scientific and technological research and development in the African continent, except for a few centres and programmes supported by some multilateral and bilateral institutions including NGOs. In spite of many years of structural adjustment the World Bank's lending for S&T has marginalised African countries; while the AIDB support for S&T and regional programmes is woefully inadequate. This is a momentous task it has to address if the NEP AD Initiative is to be successful in the years ahead. To guide future initiatives the study draws on the lessons and experiences of the European Union's and the Association of South East Asian Nations' (ASEAN) regional scientific and technology co-operation programmes. The study advocates a knowledge-based development paradigm, which is transnational in approach, and it makes specific recommendations for regional and sub-regional programmes and strategies to promote the socio-economic development and transformation of Africa.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: OPSOMMING Ná afloop van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog het Derde Wêreldlande - dié reeds onafhanklik, óf besig om kolonialisme af te skud, óf nog steeds onder 'n koloniale moondheid se bewind - sekere ontwikkelingstruikelblokke en -uitdagings in die gesig gestaar. Dit het gelei tot die totstandkoming van verskeie bilaterale en multilaterale ontwikkelingsinstellings. Die doel met sulke instellings se hulpverlening aan ontwikkelende lande was drieledig: om tegniese vaardighede aan te bied; om materiële hulpmiddele te verskaf; en om programme, wat samewerking vir sosio-ekonomiese ontwikkeling en transformasie sou bevorder, te formuleer. Indien die las van die geweldige ontwikkelingsprobleme in Afrika (insluitend armoede, hongersnood en siektes) verlig sou kon word, het multilaterale instellings 'n belangrike rol om te vervul: om te help met, enersyds, die wetenskaplike en tegnologiese ontwikkeling van die kontinent, en andersyds die ontwikkeling van toepaslike institusionele meganismes vir streek- en sub-streeksamewerking in wetenskap en tegnologie (W&T). As gevolg van die Verenigde Nasies se institusionele kapasiteit om ontwikkelingshulp te verskaf, asook om die internasionale ontwikkelingsagenda te beïnvloed, verteenwoordig dié stelsel die beste hoop van die meeste ontwikkelende lande om hulle ontwikkelingsdrome te verwesenlik. Van die instellings wat by die VN geaffillieer is, en wat in hierdie ondersoek geëvalueer word, is die Wêreldbankgroep, die grootste skenkerorganisasie vir die befondsing van ontwikkelingsprogramme en -projekte. So ook het UNESCO 'n leiersrol as die VN agentskap van wie die mandaat direk betrekking het op die ontwikkeling van W&T. Die EKA is die liggaam wat Afrika verteenwoordig by die VN, en beïnvloed daarom die koers van ontwikkelingsbeleid en -programme. Die noodsaak om die kontinent te ontwikkel het ook gelei daartoe dat Afrikalande hulle eie streek- en sub-streekliggame, wat menslike en materiële hulpbronne bymekaar bring, begin stig het. Die ontwikkelingskwessies wat oor die jare in die ontwikkelende wêreld bespreek en aangemoedig is, het egter meer en meer gefokus op nasionale inkomste, handelsvoorwaardes, toegang tot markte en, in die afgelope tyd, strukturele aanpassings en armoede verligtingstrategie programme. Die belangrikste deel van die ontwikkelingsproses - die vernouing van die kennisgaping in W&T - is gevolglik afgeskeep, veral op streek- en substreekvlak. Hierdie navorsingsprojek analiseer dus, op streek- en sub-streekvlak, ontwikkelingsprogramme wat deur die volgende instansies ondersteun word: die Verenigde Nasies se Opvoedkundige, Wetenskaplike en Kulturele Organisasie (UNESCO), die Wêreldbank, die Verenigde Nasies se Ekonomiese Kommissie vir Afrika (EKA), die Organisasie vir Afrika-eenheid (OAE), die Ontwikkelingsbank van Afrika, die Suider- Afrikaanse Ontwikkelingsgemeenskap en die Ekonomiese Gemeenskap van Wes-Afrikaanse State. Die navorsing gebruik 'n teorie-gedrewe evaluering gebaseer op 'n INEXSK ("INfrastructure, EXperience and Skills, and Knowlege") benadering, om te bepaal in watter mate hierdie multilaterale instellings hulle doelwitte, met betrekking tot die verbetering van die kennisbasis vir ontwikkeling van die Afrika-kontinent, bereik. 'n Historiese oorsig van die wetenskaplike, tegnologiese en institusionele samewerking in Afrika vorm 'n belangrike deel van die navorsingsverslag. Die navorsing dui ook op 'n gebrek aan funksionele organisatoriese raamwerke om op streek en sub-streekvlak streng wetenskaplike en tegnologiese navorsing en ontwikkeling aan te wakker en te bevorder. (Daar is darem 'n paar noemenswaardige uitsonderings van sentra en programme wat deur party van die bilaterale en multilaterale instellings ondersteun word.) Ten spyte van strukturele aanpassings wat oor baie jare plaasgevind het, het die Wêreldbank se lenings vir W&T Afrikalande gemarginaliseer; en die Ontwikkelingsbank van Afrika se ondersteuning vir W&T en streeksprogramme is heeltemal ontoereikend. Daar is 'n geweldige taak wat in die toekoms aangespreek moet word indien die NEPAD inisiatief hoop om suksesvol te wees. Die verslag gebruik die lesse en ervarings van die Europese Unie en die Vereniging van Suid- Asiatiese Lande se streeksamewerkingsprogramme vir wetenskap en tegnologie as rigtingwyser vir toekomstige inisiatiewe. Die verslag beveel 'n transnasionale kennisgebaseerde ontwikkelingsparadigma aan, en maak spesifieke aanbevelings vir streek en sub-streekprogramme en strategieë om die sosio-ekonomiese ontwikkeling en transformasie van Afrika te bevorder.

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