Global chemistry research: Where is Africa on this stage?

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The World Bank's forecast for Africa's economic growth for 2013 is 4.8%, at a time when most regions in the world have very low or negative growth of their economies. In fact, if one removes South Africa from this forecast, growth is expected to be 6% in Sub-Saharan Africa; yet Sub-Saharan Africa hardly features when it comes to Global Chemistry Research. A number of factors can be cited as contributing to this low level of chemistry research activities. Some of these factors are: lack of infrastructure, and lack of funding for research and graduate studies. There, however, have been a few success stories as a result of support received from the international community that has help improve funding for research and graduate training. These include programs by the International Science Programme (ISP) for sandwich programs for graduate training, and research grants from the International Science Foundation (IFS) and the Academy for the Developing World, formerly known as the Third World Academy of Science (TWAS). This article outlines the impact such supports have had on chemistry research on the African continent; but also suggests that these supports alone are insufficient in enabling Africa to play a significant role in global chemistry research unless the continent itself, finds other ways of funding the larger part of its chemistry research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-179
Number of pages13
JournalACS Symposium Series
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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