Seychelles preparing its first science, technology and innovation policy

UNESCO’s office in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) is providing technical assistance to the Seychelles for the preparation of the country’s first-ever science, technology and innovation policy. In late 2011, this document was awaiting approval by the country’s Executive Cabinet.

As part of the capacity-building aspect of this project, the Dar es Salaam office is supporting the development of individual skills to manage innovation in public and private institutions.

For details, contact UNESCO’s office in Dar es Salaam

Some facts and figures

Seychelles is an archipelago of about 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. According to the 2002 census, 91% of the population aged 15 years and over is literate and half the population has completed secondary school. The country has achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of gender parity in primary schooling. In 2009, the Education Ministry launched a project to increase literacy among adults. Despite a small population [of about 87 000], the country plans to open its first university in the near future (UNFPA).

There is a fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman and a population growth rate of 0.5% per year. Life expectancy at birth is 69 years for males and 77 years for females (2006) and infant mortality is low at 12 deaths per 1,000 live births. The country is on target to achieve the MDG of halving the under-5 mortality rate by 2015 (UNFPA).

In 2005, Seychelles devoted 0.31%of GDP to research and development (R&D). Some 97% of R&D was performed by the government and the remainder by the private non-profit sector. There were officially 13 full-time equivalent researchers – or 157 per million population – but the UNESCO Institute for Statistics considers these data may be underestimated. Four of these researchers were women (UNESCO Science Report 2010).

In terms of output, 19 articles by researchers from Seychelles were recorded in the Science citation Index in 2008, up from 7 in 2002. These articles were circumscribed to the life sciences: biology (11), clinical medicine (5) and biomedical research (3) (UNESCO Science Report 2010).

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