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Technological Learning and Sustainability Transition: The Role of Institutions of Higher Learning in Africa

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The aim of this paper is to explore the role of science, technology and innovation in sustainable development in Africa. It argues that much of the scientific and technological knowledge needed to help Africa improve its welfare while protecting the environment is available. What is needed is to create institutional mechanisms and build human resources needed to harness the knowledge and put it to effective use. In the age of international relief, donor governments worked closely with non‐governmental organisations and their influence flourished. In a new era of emphasis on competence building and enhancement of human resources, higher learning institutions must play a greater role. International support should therefore go to strengthen the capacity of institutions of higher learning (referred herein for purposes of brevity as "universities") to solve local problems. The presentation focuses on the central role that universities can make in promoting sustainable development in Africa. Placing universities at the centre of economic renewal will entail adjustments in public policy in Africa and in international aid agencies. These changes will involve long periods of learning, but the first steps must be made without delay.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2007-05-01

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