Can Africa Grow its Research Output?

Africa has the possibility to grow its research output and this has already occurred in some regions of the continent already, however there is much more to do.

What does Africa need

Africa is in need of more visionary people to help it realise its potential, it needs people that are willing to invest time, money and effort into research, and realising that Africa has the opportunity. For many years it has lagged behind and now is the perfect opportunity to make it a major player in the world and a person like Angolan Alvaro Sobrinho is someone that realises the potential of Africa and the future it can have.


With the vast improvements in science and technology over the past decade Africa has also seen a sharp rise in the number of higher education institutions around the content, this obviously has given a more educated and skilled pool of talent to work with in terms of research.

Having this influx of education is important for improving research output, however it must be noted that money is required to fund education and even more is required to fund research. There must be a reason to invest money into these institutions and Africa must become accountable by providing solid results to secure this funding


Resources have a potential for future investment in Africa, the continent needs to harness these natural resources to potentially fund its research and growth.

You only need to look at the resource booms being experienced by countries such as Norway and Australia to realise that rich natural resources can set you up. The Norwegians are a great example of this and have created a huge fund from the proceeds of oil and gas products, this fund was designed to outlive the supply of gas and oil in the country and will be used to restructure when and if the times comes to do this.

What is stopping Africa

Africa currently has a very low percentage of global research output and there are various issues that stop it from reaching its potential.

One of these issues is the role of government and the corruption that is known in many African countries, these countries must be transparent and take steps to reduce corruption and to ensure that funds are being allocated to the correct places.

Some would argue that the size of the many African nations causes problems, there is no unification and the borders can overcomplicate things, particularly with so many different countries. Perhaps some form of unification, similar to the EU for example, would benefit Africa and promote competition.