Programme / Science, Technology and Innovation Measurement in Africa and SDG 9.5

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Monday / 5 DEC

14:30 - 16:00

Side event:
Science, Technology and Innovation Measurement in Africa and SDG 9.5
Venue: Meeting Rooms 2.41-2.43

The launch of the African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (ASTII) Programme in 2007 enhanced the measurement of R&D and Innovation based on key concepts that were already discussed before year 2000 with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) in tracking the level of R&D spending. The process being institutionalized and sustained with the establishment of national focal points, both R&D and Innovation data collection and analysis are endorsed by national statistics offices with core indicators published in the African Innovation Outlook (AIO) series. AUDA-NEPAD, the African Union Commission (AUC), and the AU Observatory for STI (AOSTI), play key roles in making sure that member States and regional economic communities adopt internationally comparable indicators to assess the status of STI frameworks (STISA-2024 and RECs).


The tracking of Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&D (GERD, SDG9.5) is complex as it starts with personnel through headcount and full-time equivalent before ending with current costs and capital expenditures. Any error in overestimating R&D salaries will affect the true GERD. The assumption is that countries cover all traditional sectors of R&D performance. While a census is the way to go in tracking the R&D expenditures in the government and higher education sectors, and possibly the non-profit organizations sector, knowledge in sampling approach is vital for data collection and analysis in the business sector with its burden on low response rate on financial information. For an inclusive GERD, more attention shall be paid to the informal sector, the role of indigenous knowledge system, the demographic dividend in energizing Africa and radical technological innovations seen as emerging technologies. Finally, with its very young population, Africa needs to move very rapidly to advance its demographic dividend and invest in appropriate skills for the 4IR to advance Africa’s demographic dividend on the continent’s long-term development prospects.