LONDON - Africa's contribution to the global body of scientific research is very small and does little to benefit its own populations, according to a report from Thomson Reuters relea0sed yesterday.
Like India and China, Africa suffers from a "haemorrhage of talent", the report said, with many of its best brains leaving to study abroad and failing to return.
"The African diaspora provides powerful intellectual input to the research achievements of other countries, but returns less benefit to the countries of birth," Jonathan Adams, director of research evaluation at Thomson Reuters, said in a statement as the report was published.
Adams and colleagues, who use a Thomson Reuters database to track scientific publications, found that three nations dominate Africa's research output - with South Africa leading by a long way, ahead of Egypt in second place and then Nigeria.
"Africa's overall volume of activity remains small, much smaller than is desirable if the potential contribution of its researchers is to be realised for the benefit of its populations," said Adams.
The report found that part of the problem was down to a "chronic lack of investment in facilities for research and teaching" - a deficit the authors said must be remedied.
Adams said the reason behind this was not simply money: "The resources available in some African countries are substantial, but they are not being invested in research. - Reuters