Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent covering 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area. It is no wonder then, that it has an abundance of natural resources. Yet the continent remains the world's poorest and most underdeveloped, as a result of a variety of causes.
It is generally accepted that science, engineering, technology and innovation (SETI) are essential to ensuring Africa's development, and that SETI has already played a role in development advances on the continent. In recent years, a greater volume of African countries have embraced science and technology as a driver of development, yer is is also true that African Science and Technology ministries, where they exists, are the least funded and their mandates less clear. When there is a need to cut budgets, they are the first ones to be considered. Most African SETI infrastructures depend on donor funding, or they collapse, leaving scientists without a base to operate from. This state of affairs has led to many top African scientists taking their skills to developed countries.
At ICSU ROA, we take pride in promoting science in its broader sense for the benefit of society, taking into account priorities of the African continent. Our strategies, which includes (i) identification and addressing of major science and technology challenges in Africa through planning and coordination of research (ii) Assisting partners in planning and implementation of activities on the continent while developing and maintaining links with national, regional and international partners, (iii) Facilitation of scientific collaboration, networking and free flow of scientists and scientific knowledge across borders, (iv) Encouraging and improving scientific capacity building in Africa, (v) Promoting indigenous and traditional knowledge and skills in Africa, as well as (vi) Promoting the application of science in policy for development, put the regional Office in a position where it acts as a catalyst for Africa's development through SETI.
Our aim is to work with all organisations and individuals with similar intentions, and therefore we will keep open arms and minds to embrace any form of partnership that promise mutual benefit.