Development of Common African STI Indicators

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and UNESCO’s Division for Science Policy and Capacity-building are cooperating with the African Union (AU) to promote the adaptation to, and adoption of, internationally compatible policy-relevant STI indicators and methodologies, build institutional capacities and develop an African network for STI indicators within the African STI Indicators Initiative. Within this framework, UNESCO is coordinating with the AU a regional analysis and dissemination of policy-relevant STI indicators in Africa, assisting national STI institutions in producing and using policy-relevant STI indicators and contributing to the training of specialists from STI institutions on policy-relevant STI indicators.

The ultimate goal is to transform the African STI Indicators Initiative into a permanent African Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation. The AU requested UNESCO’s assistance in establishing this observatory at a meeting of the mixed African Union (AU)-UNESCO Commission on 9-12 March 2009. This followed the AU’s endorsement of Equatorial Guinea’s offer to host the future observatory, in January 2009 at the Twelfth AU Summit in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). Subsequently, UNESCO participated in brainstorming meetings organized by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to design a feasibility study on the establishment and operation the observatory. In May 2011, the interim observatory based in Midrand (South Africa) published the first African Innovation Outlook, a compendium of national statistics on R&D in Africa.

Since 2008, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the UNESCO Division for Science Policy and Capacity-building and the African Union have organized training seminars and workshops on STI policy-relevant indicators for English- and French-speaking Africa. This has included a series of STI policy reviews. The organizers are also advising on the design of questionnaires, manuals and documentation for national collection of STI data. For example, a training workshop for specialists from nearly 40 African countries was run in April 2012 by NEPAD’s Planning and Coordinating Agency, in collaboration with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the South African Department of Science and Technology. The workshop was designed to help prepare the second edition of the African Innovation Outlook.

Expected results

For details, contact Martin Schaaper at the UNESCO Institute for Statistics

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