Science & Technology

11 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.

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

Taking Root: Global Trends in Agricultural Biotechnology

| January 2015

Nearly two decades of experience have shown that agricultural biotechnology has the potential to address some of the world’s pressing challenges. Its potential, however, cannot be addressed in isolation. Instead it should be part of a larger effort to expand the technological options needed to address persistent and emerging agricultural challenges.

The aim of this paper is to review the evidence on global trends in the application of agricultural biotechnology and identify some of their salient benefits. The paper is cognizant that biotechnology alone cannot solve the world’s agricultural challenges. But even though it is not a silver bullet, it should still be included in the package of technological options available to farmers. The evidence available today suggests that public policy should appeal more to pragmatism and less to ideology when seeking solutions to global agricultural challenges.

Amogdoul Wind Farm, Essaouira, Morocco, August 1, 2007.

Wikimedia CC

Paper - World Institute for Development Economics Research

Innovation Capabilities for Sustainable Development in Africa

| March 2014

A sustainable pathway for Africa in the twenty-first century is laid out in the setting of the development of innovation capabilities and the capture of latecomer advantages. Africa has missed out on these possibilities in the twentieth century while seeing the East Asian countries advance. There are now abundant examples and cases to draw on, in the new setting where industrial development has to have green tinges to be effective.

Report Chapter

Growing the Nutritional Revolution

| May 2014

"There is considerable work underway in finding ways to improve the nutritional content of African crops such as sorghum, cassava and bananas. Some of this has been inspired by advances in genomics and involves genetic fortification of existing crops. Similarly, efforts to sequence niche crops in Africa will yield important information that will help in future breeding activities. These efforts need to be supported and expanded."

Report - Brookings Institution

Foresight Africa: Top Priorities for the Continent in 2014

| January 2014

As Africa's position in the world continues to grow and evolve in 2014, the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative continues its tradition of asking its experts and colleagues to identify what they consider to be the key issues for Africa in the coming year.

Report Chapter - Brookings Institution

Leap-frogging in African Agriculture: The Case of Genetically Modified Crops

| January 2014

Calestous Juma and Katherine Gordon argue that biotechnology has the potential to exponentially raise Africa's agricultural production, increase food security, drive economic growth and save African farmers millions of dollars.

Report - Imperial College

Innovation for Sustainable Intensification in Africa

| September 2013

The Montpellier Panel is a panel of international experts from the fields of agriculture, sustainable development, trade, policy, and global development chaired by Sir Gordon Conway of Imperial College London. The Panel is working together to make recommendations to enable better European government support of national and regional agricultural development and food security priorities in Sub-Saharan Africa. This report looks at the role of innovation in sustainable intensification for food and nutrition security in Africa.

Feeding the Next Generation: Science, Business, and Public Policy

Monsanto Company Photo

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

Feeding the Next Generation: Science, Business, and Public Policy

| December 2011

Today, three of ten people on the planet rely on others to grow their food and 900 million remain chronically food insecure. By 2050 the global demand for agricultural production is expected to double. Half of the global population will live in cities and will need to be fed through market channels. Meeting these demands will require significant increases in agricultural productivity. Modern, science-driven farming including genetically modified crops represents the best chance of generating the increases in agricultural productivity necessary to feed our future. This paper's overall conclusion is that genetically modified crops can and should play a critical role in agricultural productivity. It is offers a roadmap for those interested in objectively evaluating both the risk and benefits of biotechnology in agriculture.

Report - Science, Technology, and Globalization Project, Belfer Center

The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa

    Author:
  • Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project
| December 2009

African agriculture is at the crossroads. Persistent food shortages are now being compounded by new threats arising from climate change. But Africa faces two major opportunities that can help transform its agriculture and use it as a force for economic growth. First, advances in science and technology worldwide offer African countries new tools needed to promote sustainable agriculture. Second, efforts to create regional markets will provide new incentives for agricultural production and trade. This is the focus of the Agricultural Innovation in Africa (AIA) project. The project seeks to disseminate policy-relevant information on how to align science and technology missions with regional agricultural development goals. It does so in the context of the larger agenda to promote regional economic integration and development.