Friday 25th of April 2014
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The issue of socialisation of STR also arises in developing countries, such as Kenya.
Since they are dependent on technologies produced by other research systems, such countries are even more exposed to the risk of not achieving effective socialisation of science and technology.
Kenya plays an important role as partner in the North-South research cooperation led by the EC. In particular, the country has traditionally benefited from EC support, in the field of agricultural research.
The Kenya EU Country Strategy paper 2003-2007 foresees initiatives aimed at the mainstreaming of research and of scientific and technological capacity building in support of a sustainable development.
Although possessing a network of better research institutions compared to other African countries, Kenya has suffered from a lack of policies for research, compounded by structural adjustment policies that have further depleted its already weak research and higher education systems.
All this has led to a condition of “knowledge dependence”, which has only begun to be tackled in the last few years, especially through a pan-African action of international cooperation aimed at supporting research and directing it towards solving the serious social problems faced by the country, in particular, the spread of HIV and other endemic diseases and the backwardness of the agricultural production system.
Scientific cooperation with the EU is very important and a dialogue between the EU and African partners is already on-going. The multi-annual European Development Fund (EDF) provides funds for capacity building activities in this sector that complement those of the FP7 that foresees the participation of third world countries (including African ones).
Scientific cooperation between EU and Africa will includes areas such as biomedical research, epidemiological studies as well as applied research in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases, climate change and the sustainable use of biodiversity.
Equally important is the phenomenon of “brain drain”, which has deprived the country of potential qualified leadership in the fields of research and innovation. In recent years, attempts have been made to stem this flow through the setting up of networks of qualified migrants, such as the Association of Kenyans Abroad (AKA).
SET-DEV, -Science, Ethics and Technological Responsibility in Developing and Emerging Countries
is a project funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme and the call SiS-2007- 188.8.131.52.
“International dialogue: capacity building in developing countries" launched by the EC DG RTD.
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