Harnessing Science, Engineering, and Medicine (SEM) to Address Africa's Challenges makes the case for strengthening the science-policy interface in Africa to accelerate the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s (AU) STI Strategy for Africa (STISA -2024).

The report is the culmination of a three-year project, Harnessing Science, Engineering and Medicine to address Africa’s Challenges, funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York. This project explored pathways for feeding scientific expertise into UN and AU policy frameworks, with a focus on ways that African national academies can contribute more effectively at continental, regional and national levels. It complements a global report released in May 2019, Improving scientific input to global policymaking.  Supporting this vital effort, the project piloted different ways of building science policy leadership amongst early career African researchers, building a cadre of policy-literate scientists who can help pave the way for more rigorous, evidence-informed decision-making in Africa; and of drawing on members of the African science diaspora to engage with their national academies to help science serve society.

The report urges academies and policymakers to engage openly and inclusively to ensure that evidence informs policy formulation, implementation and review. This includes the imperative for African governments to invest in scientific research and honour their commitment to set this level at 1% of GDP. The report sets out concrete, actionable recommendations for the UN, AU and its agencies, merit-based academies and the wider science community: for example, providing more opportunities to bring scientists and policymakers together, including fellowships and secondments; scaling up programmes that engage the African science diaspora and develop science policy leadership; and strengthening cooperation between senior and young academies.

View the press release here.

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