African academies of science can play a central role in providing independent, objective scientific and technological advice on policy issues of critical importance to Africa’s development, targeting both their governments and other stakeholders. Generously supported by the Gates Foundation, the African Science Academy Development Initiative (ASADI) has worked to raise the profile of a select but very diverse group of African academies as strong, independent institutions, building upon the scientific merit of their members to form beacons for science and technology as a tool for ...
African academies of science can play a central role in providing independent, objective scientific and technological advice on policy issues of critical importance to Africa’s development, targeting both their governments and other stakeholders. Generously supported by the Gates Foundation, the African Science Academy Development Initiative (ASADI) has worked to raise the profile of a select but very diverse group of African academies as strong, independent institutions, building upon the scientific merit of their members to form beacons for science and technology as a tool for development.
This review of ASADI has revealed both the strengths and the weaknesses of the programme, identifying opportunities and threats for the future of science academies in Africa. It is offered as not just a “box-ticking” end of programme review, but as a constructive way forward for academies in any country, highlighting what has worked well and what less well, with a view to learning from these lessons to improve future work in this area. The programme has been particularly effective at building platforms for partnership and sharing good practice. One definition of capacity building that has been offered is “institutional performance improvement.” The review process has provided an opportunity for the Panel to take stock of Africa’s largest and most sustained programme for science academy strengthening. We hope that this review will be a useful tool for academies everywhere that wish to build their institutional performance and capacity. At the same time, it helps articulate the value of academies to national, regional and continental policymakers.
Turner T. ISOUN (Chair), was the Minister of Science and Technology of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from October 2000 to May 2007. During his tenure, he initiated policies that promoted both high-tech and low-tech science for development. He guided space policy and the projects, NigerSat I (a land observation satellite), and NIGCOMSAT 1 (an advanced communication satellite), through development and launching. He directed the development of policies for a wide range of S&T sectors. Following his tenure as Minister, Prof. Isoun was awarded the Nigerian National Honour of the Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFR) in 2007. He was previously the first Vice Chancellor of Rivers State University of Science and Technology, and was Professor and Head of the Pathology Department at the University of Ibadan. His research and teaching focused on tropical pathology, nutrition and disease. He earned his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and Ph.D. in Veterinary Pathology from Michigan State University (USA). He is Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Sciences (NAS) and Fellow and Executive Member African Academy of Sciences. Prof. Isoun recently published a book: Why Run Before Learning to Walk? Reflections on High Technology as a Strategic Tool for Development in Nigeria.
Mostapha (Mosto) BOUSMINA is a physical chemist and rheologist working on nanomaterials and nanotechnology. He is presently the President of the Euro-Mediterranean University of Fez-Morocco, Chancellor of the Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology-Morocco, and President of the Network of African Academies of Sciences (NASAC). From 2008 to 2011, Prof. Bousmina was the Director General the Institute of Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology (INANOTECH), Morocco. Before that he was Professor and the holder of the Canada Research Chair on Polymer Physics and Nanomaterials at Laval University, Quebec-Canada. His research has focused on the physics of polymeric multiphase systems, and nanomaterials. He earned his engineering degree at Ecole d'Application des Hauts Polymères (EAHP, School for Application of High Polymers), and completed his MS.c and his PhD at the Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, France in collaboration with the University of Illinois-Chicago, USA. He is a Member of TWAS: The World Academy of Sciences, and of the African Academy of Sciences
Heide HACKMANN joined ICSU as Executive Director in March 2015, following eight years as Executive Director of the International Social Science Council. Heide read for a M.Phil in contemporary social theory at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, and holds a PhD in science and technology studies from the University of Twente in the Netherlands. She has worked as a science policy maker, researcher and consultant in the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and South Africa. Before moving into the world of the international councils, Heide worked as Head of the Department of International Relations and Quality Assessment of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her career in science policy dates back to the early 1990s when she worked at the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa. Heide holds membership of several international advisory committees, including the Scientific Advisory Board of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, and the Swedish Research Council’s Committee for Development Research, Sweden. She is a Board member of START, as well as Cape Farewell in the UK.
Anne MILLS is Vice-Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and Professor of Health Economics and Policy. She has researched and published widely in the fields of health economics and health systems in low and middle income countries and continues to be involved in research on health insurance developments in South Africa, Tanzania, India and Thailand. Prof. Mills has had continuing involvement in supporting capacity development in health economics in universities, research institutes and governments. She has been involved in numerous policy initiatives including WHO's Commission on Macroeconomics and Health and the 2009 High Level Taskforce on Innovative International Finance for Health Systems. She received her first degree in history and economics from the University of Oxford, holds a postgraduate diploma in Health Service Studies from Leeds University, and earned a PhD in health economics from the University of London. Professor Mills has a CBE for services to medicine, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences, and a Foreign Associate of the US Institute of Medicine.
MU Rongping is now Director-General and Professor at the Institute of Policy and Management at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He is also Director-General of the CAS Center for Innovation and Development, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Science Research Management (an academic bimonthly). Dr. Mu joined CAS in 1990, and previously taught at Hefei University of Technology from 1983-1990. His research interests include science, technology and innovation policy, technology foresight, R&D management, and the competitiveness of high-tech industries. He has published more than 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals and international conferences, and drafted documents concerning China's National Innovation Policies and the 11th Five Year Plan for National Capacity- Building for Innovation. Dr. Mu received his B.S. (1983) and M.S. degrees (1990) from the University of Science and Technology of China, and his Ph.D. degree (2001) from Technische Universität Berlin, Germany.