Fit for the Purpose? Juxtaposing global development policy discussions on knowledge sharing with African realities
Keywords:Africa, knowledge sharing, education policy, ICT
AbstractThe issue of knowledge sharing has become more topical in global development cooperation discourse than ever before, and is linked to the growing recognition of the positive growth and development effects of accentuating knowledge as a development resource. This recognition however follows decades of underinvestment in knowledge infrastructure as well as the prevalent policy of neglecting investments in higher education and innovation while focusing on primary education. Particularly in Africa, states have had to strongly cut their budgets on science and education in order to qualify for concessional loans of the international financial institutions. Simultaneously, a few states and young entrepreneurs have been designing innovative solutions and using new technology to facilitate knowledge sharing and application. Still, Africa?s challenges to exploiting the opportunities offered by knowledge sharing to improve her economies persist, despite promises of Africa?s global development partners to aid her on this. This paper analyzes the state of knowledge infrastructure in African states and concludes that making these fit the purpose requires first and foremost a massive improvement in its educational institutions.