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The Uphill Emergence of Scientific Communities in Africa

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The increasing concern African decision-makers and international funding agencies feel for scientific research in Africa and its impact on development has led to the establishment of several support programmes, especially for agricultural research. What is the current state of scientific research in Africa? What holds back its development? After a historical review of science in Africa, this paper searches for answers by analysing available resources, and indicators of production, visibility, and utility throughout the continent. A description of the present day scientific structures and the constraints facing scientists is followed by a look at the fundamental question of how autonomous scientific communities can be established in Africa.

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