Gayathri Vaidyanathan ::

Nature: Science in Africa – View from the Frontline

Kenyan science is a study in contrasts. Among sub-Saharan nations, it ranks third — behind South Africa and Nigeria — in its output of scientific papers published in international journals, and its publishing outranks that of economic heavyweight Nigeria in fields such as environment, ecology and immunology. It is also a hub of collaborations on the continent (see ‘Country connections’). But Kenya’s research output has grown more slowly than most other sub-Saharan nations. In the recent African Union survey, Kenya scored last in terms of the increase in the numbers of published research papers, normalized for population size.

Most of the scientific work in Kenya is centred in government-owned research institutes that have extensive international collaborations.

By contrast, the universities suffer from lack of infrastructure and money. The government and donors have focused on boosting primary and secondary education, but have neglected universities, say observers […]

Read More