It is believed that, Africa currently generates less than 1% of world’s research data. Analyzing data using Elsevier’s SciVal tool, which measures the research performance of 8,500 research institutions and 220 nations worldwide, a more detailed picture of Africa’s research emerged. Compared to other regions, Africa has by far the strongest growing scientific production: 38.6 percent over a 5-year period from the start of 2012 to the end of 2016. The number of authors is growing at an equally astounding rate of 43 percent over that period. This is 10 percent higher than the next fastest growing author population in the world – that of the Middle East – at 33 percent during the same period.
African scientists and policymakers want to capitalize on these successes. Many of them gathered at the recent Third African Forum for Science, Technology and Innovation in Cairo, organized by the African Development Bank and the Egyptian government. The event is also supported by the Republic of South Korea, Japan and partners including Elsevier. There, they urged representatives from countries across the continent to invest more in research, higher education and science; to build a knowledge economy; and not to miss the train of the new industrial revolution.