Is West African States’ Science And Technology Plan In Limbo?

Written by Staff
VIA Agency

West African countries, 15 of them, are a year away from the target date of their 10-year policy plan on science and technology dubbed ECOPOST. But they have made very little progress on the goals they set themselves.

The plan is an essential part of the sub region’s development blueprint labelled Vision 2020. This is a proposed road map for monetary integration, fostering public-private partnerships, improving governance and accelerating economic growth.

From The Conversation. Story by Joseph Ato Forson.

The integration plan envisages investment laws being harmonised. It also suggests the creation of a regional investment promotion agency. And all the 15 member states are urged to promote viable but efficient small and medium-sized enterprises. These would focus on technology and innovation as a path to increased productivity.

Yet this hasn’t been achieved. There are still challenges with the commercialisation of research findings, technology transfers, stronger university-industry ties and boosting indigenous knowledge.

I reviewed the science, technology and innovation policy plans among countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). I found that there appeared to be some political support in the design of policies. But not much else is in place.

West African member states have to take the necessary steps to develop national plans on science, innovation and technology. These will address the region’s economic and social challenges. This will be true irrespective of the creation of the proposed regional bloc.

Read more at The Conversation.