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Enhancing Science and Technology in the SADC Region: Roles of the Secretariat and Member States

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For more content, please see Journal of Developing Societies.

Increased economic integration throughout the world, the growing dominance of foreign affiliate production over international exports, the routinization of innovation, and amplified knowledge-intensiveness of FDI collectively characterize the new global economic environment in which SADC nations are attempting to develop and compete. This paper provides a detailed summary of the global economic context and one of its leading engines, namely, science and technology (S&T). Analysis of Africa's post-independence S&T travails and successes constitutes the second section of the paper. Various factors that have collectively arrested S&T growth are discussed. The third and largest section is the analysis of commonalities and particularities of S&T needs and activities by the SADC secretariat and member states. Focused analytical reports on the status of S&T development efforts in Botswana and Zimbabwe comprise the final section. Based on the contextual threats and opportunities discussed above, the paper concludes with two concrete recommendations: integrating and adopting the elements suggested in the paper for a long-term S&T development model, and pursuing state-sponsored or quasi-state-sponsored reverse engineering campaigns.

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