African science slowed by brain drain, low investment

Continent suffers from “hemorrhage of talent, report says

Africa could be contributing far more to the global body of scientific research and benefiting its own population, according to a new report from Thomson Reuters. Like India and China, the continent suffers from a “hemorrhage of talent” as many of the top researchers leave to study abroad and don’t return. “The African diaspora provides powerful intellectual input to the research achievements of other countries, but returns less benefit to the countries of birth,” said Jonathan Adams, director of research evaluation at Thomson Reuters. Using a database to track scientific populations, they found South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria dominate research output, but the continent’s overall volume of activity remains small. And it’s not just due to money: “The resources available in some African countries are substantial, but they are not being invested in the research base,” Adams said.


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