population, an efficient innovation system, and a dynamic information and communication infrastructure. Therefore, governments should lay the groundwork to enhance Africa’s ability to seriously increase its scientific and technological potential, to resolutely embark on the knowledge economy, to promote sustainable development, and to become a key partner in global economy and trade.
The real wealth of any country is its people; and the core of any country’s development process has always been knowledge, particularly in the fields of science and technology. In this regard, the fundamental facilitator of the knowledge economy is education, generally associated with a higher level of teaching and research. They are key factors for creating, sharing, disseminating, and effectively using knowledge for problem solving and innovation.
Africa’s overall development, like in any region of the world, should be based on the tripartite elements—Economy-Energy-Environment—called the E3 method of sustainable development. But other methods are also important.
Currently, development in many advanced countries is mostly based on knowledge instead of raw materials and natural resources. Due to strong innovative systems, rapid advances in new and emerging technologies, such as information and communication technology (ICT), biotechnology, nanotechnology, and genomics are dramatically affecting all economic, social, administrative and cultural activities. The pervasive technological revolution resulting from these advances is now disrupting all kinds of relationships, transactions, and production systems of goods and services.
As a consequence of the ICT explosion that has led to worldwide interdependency and connectivity, globalization and competition have drastically increased and are leading to extensive shifts in world trade patterns and economic relations. Now, even corporate research and development are internationalized. Countries’ or companies’ competitiveness depends, more than ever, on their ability to access, adapt, utilize, and master scientific and technological knowledge for a continuous innovation process.