Question Two

2. Equity in Knowledge Production

  • Q: To create a new mechanism for engaging and collaborating, we have to abandon all the current assumptions and common practices including the foundation of “givers” (Global North countries) and “recipients” (Global South countries) and build a new environment for local academics and researchers as well as research departments and institutions to co-create, co-produce and lead as experts in their fields. This requires both Researchers in the GS and (most importantly) the Governments in the GS to take seriously the knowledge production. How we can we bring our decision-makers on to the table? Dr. Jama Musse Jama
  • Q: Unless African leaders give priority to knowledge generation it will be impossible to have equitable research partnerships in the continent.  How can we make this happen? Cheikh Mbacké [APHRC]
  • Q: How do we ensure that Northern funders align funds to the needs of African Institutions and countries? Anonymous 

A: Our sense is that decision makers – at least from some countries and sectors and in some spaces – are already coming to the table to debate and consider the issues.  The discussions around the AfDB initiative (mentioned above) are one instance, as are continental deliberations around the Science, technology and innovation strategy for Africa and forums, convened by regional economic communities, to consider sub-regional strategies on science and research.  And, as also noted above, a number of concrete initiatives and funding commitments now exist.  

How seriously all governments take the importance of investing in research – and what rationales underpin their stance – remains a question; and perhaps we ought to consider it as an important empirical question.  Answers to it could help with identifying where and how decision makers need to be engaged on the value of investing in homegrown knowledge production. Does a focused and concerted African civil society policy advocacy effort on knowledge production exist?  If yes, where – and how do we connect to it? If no – should one be formed?