The Value of Scientific Research for Africa

The need to define, develop and implement a series of alternative policies, points to the critical importance of scientific research in Africa. This is one sector that has been mostly ignored by the majority of the African countries, and mostly preferred to borrow ready-made packaged from “advanced” countries and have in the process surrendered the possibility of attending to their own problems in their own ways.

One of the principal reasons why the eight most powerful nations on earth, especially the United State of America sustained a position of economic superiority and dominance in the world is that, it has been able to stay miles ahead of others in research, both scientific and technological. (Clark, 2017) listed these eight powerful nations on earth, in their order of economic superiority and dominance as follows

  1. United State of America
  2. Russia
  3. China
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Germany
  6. France
  7. Japan
  8. Israel

Even more pertinent than this technological dependence, however is the fact that, so long as the majority of countries are happy to simply adopt techniques developed elsewhere, there is little scope for them to shape their future independently.

There is an urgent need for these African countries, especially those that face totally different situations and also wish to evolve a different of human society, to undertake comprehensive research programmes of their own, devoted in main to evolving new alternatives to the existing package of methods and techniques without, of course, denying the validity of historical experience in this as in any other area of human enterprise. The principal rationale of such research is that, one is dealing with a situation that for a long time to come will be scarce in the supply of capital goods but abundant in men, the richness of traditions, and the vast social potential that can be mobilized if there is the will to do so.

If autonomy of men and nations, Justice and nonviolence, Economic advancement are values we seek to realize, then the need for independent research is self-evident.

(Kothari, 1968) emphatically stated “The initiative for improving their state of Affairs will have to come from the third world countries themselves”. They face a different set of problems from what the industrialized countries faced. They will have to show a capacity for independent thinking.

There are two courses open to Africa, accept the present world status quo and a long period of colonial status under the tutelage of the metropolitan centres of the world or work for their independence economically, and by intellectually responding to the domestic and regional challenges they face.

It must be noted, the mobilization of political will and economic resources requires a persuasive theoretical rationale.


  1. Charles Clark (2017) The 23 most powerful nations on earth. Business Insider Media UK (
  2. Rajini Kothari (1974) Footseps into the Future. World order models project, Simon & Schuster (


Emmanuel Tweneboah Senzu (Ph.D.), is a Professor of Economics and Finance. Head of Research, Frederic Bastiat Institute | [email protected]

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