Production of Science in Africa: Decisive Indicators

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 09:30
Oral Presentation
Radhamany SOORYAMOORTHY, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
The production of science, whether it is measured in terms of scientific publications, patents or any other scientific outputs, is not shaped by a single factor. The production of scientific publications in Africa and its relationship with relevant indicators such as research and development (R&D), gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD), and gross domestic product (GDP) are analysed. Drawing on data from reliable multiple sources and compiling and processing them, the production of scientific publications in Africa is compared with that of other relevant regions and the world. Within Africa, sub-Saharan Africa is also in focus. There is a huge gap between the scientifically productive and the less productive countries in Africa. Half of the scientific publications in Africa for the period 1945–2015 was made by just two countries, namely, South Africa and Egypt. These two countries continue to lead Africa in scientific publications. A wide disparity between Africa and the world is obvious in the number of available researchers per million population. Within Africa too, regional disparities (sub-Saharan Africa, for instance) are found. The analysis presents trends in the allocation of GDP for R&D. A positive correlation between the production of scientific publications and variables such as GDP and GERD in Africa and sub-Saharan Africa is evident in the data.