119 Items

Discussion Paper - Science, Technology, and Globalization Project, Belfer Center

Education, Research, and Innovation in Africa: Forging Strategic Linkages for Economic Transformation

| February 2016

Africa is a youthful continent: nearly 41% of its population is under the age of 18. To address the unique challenges of this demographic structure, the African Union (AU) hopes to reposition the continent as a strategic player in the global economy through improved education and application of science and technology in development. The paper proposes the creation of “Innovation Universities” that combine research, teaching, community service and commercialization in their missions and operations. They would depart from the common practice where teaching is carried out in universities that do little research, and where research is done in national research institutes that do not undertake teaching. Under this model, there is little connection with productive sectors. The idea therefore is not just to create linkages between those activities but to pursue them in a coordinated way under the same university structure. Innovation universities can be created in diverse fields such as agriculture, health, industry, services, and environment to advance sustainable development and inclusive growth.

Analysis & Opinions - Technology+Policy | Innovation@Work

Why Executive Leadership Matters in African Agriculture

| Oct. 16, 2015

In a poignant comment, Albert Einstein once said that "an empty stomach is not a good political adviser." African leaders are starting to appreciate this message by paying more attention to the importance of high-level political support for agricultural transformation.

Analysis & Opinions - The Daily Nation

Pest-resistant Maize Variety Opens Way for Technological Advancement

| September 10, 2015

"It is estimated that the spotted stem borer and the African stem borer reduce Kenya's maize crop by 13 per cent or 400,000 tonnes annually. Controlling the pest using biotechnology will not only reduce Kenya's food imports, it will also equip the country with new techniques that can be redeployed for other sectors such as drug and vaccine development."

Book - Oxford University Press

The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa

| September 2015

The New Harvest argues that Africa can feed itself in a generation and help contribute to global food security despite its history of persistent food shortages and the rising threat of climate change. This new edition provides ideas on how to place agriculture at the center of the continent's long-term economic transformation. It demonstrates how policy coordination can help realize agriculture's full potential as a motherboard for other economic activities.

The full text of The New Harvest is available here.

Analysis & Opinions - The Conversation

Local Start-ups Hold the Key to Transforming Africa's Seed Industry

| September 2, 2015

"The seed industry in sub-Saharan Africa is informal in nature, with approximately 80% of farmers saving and replanting seeds from year to year. This gives them security of access. But improved varieties — including high-yielding and hybrid crops — will increase productivity and income. To get these seeds into the hands of farmers, a better marketing and distribution system is needed. Local small and medium-sized seed enterprises have a comparative advantage in reaching this underserved market due to their size and market reach."

Analysis & Opinions - The Conversation

What Africa Can Learn from China about Growing its Agribusiness Sector

| August 31, 2015

There is growing evidence that the Chinese economic miracle is a consequence of the rural entrepreneurship which started in the 1980s. This contradicts classical interpretations that focus on state-led enterprises and receptiveness to foreign direct investment....The lesson from China's experience is that development must be viewed as an expression of human potentialities, not as a product of external interventions.

Africa's Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA)

The BBC

Analysis & Opinions - Technology+Policy | Innovation@Work

The Benefits of Africa's New Free Trade Area

| June 11, 2015

The creation in June 2015 of a free trade area from Cape Town to Cairo is possibly the most significant event in Africa since the formation of the Organization of African Unity in 1963. It is a grand move to merge existing regional organization into a single African Economic Community.

Why Nigeria Matters to the World

www.votenotfight.org

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Why Nigeria Matters to the World

| February 27, 2015

"Nigeria is Africa's largest economy and 26th in the world. Its GDP stands at $510 billion with immense growth potential. A stable and peaceful Nigeria will contribute to Africa's rise and integration into the global economy. On the other hand, an unstable, stagnant and conflict-driven Nigeria will be a threat to regional and global stability."

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Gates Foundation, Calestous Juma Bet on Huge Progress in African Agriculture

January 22, 2015

Coinciding with the conclusion of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, Bill and Melinda Gates talk about their “big bets” for the next 15 years in their Annual Letter this year. Among the questions they ask: How do we feed Africa, and ultimately the world? Their big bet is that Africa will feed itself and will be on the way to helping feed the world by 2030.

Calestous Juma, who heads the Belfer Center’s Agricultural Innovation in Africa project, supported by the Gates Foundation, agrees with the Gates’ bet. In his 2011 book The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa, he provides details on how Africa can feed itself in a generation. Here, he answers questions about what is needed for Africa to make huge strides in agriculture in the next 15 years.