Swapan Kumar Patra* and Mammo Muchie**
This paper maps the scholarly publication output of engineering research from the member countries of African Union (AU) based on publication data from the Scopus database of Elsevier. The countries are ranked based on various parameters, like number of publications, activity index, citations received. The collaboration profiles of the countries are mapped using Social Network Analysis (SNA) tools. The results show that the engineering research publications are increasing in Africa in an exponential rate. However the engineering research is not the main research focus because the indicators, like Activity index, Relative Specialization Index show an overall negative productivity. The research focus of these countries may be in some other areas. Above all, the output is still low in global setting. However, the coverage of African scholarly publication in global citation databases is quite low because of the peripheral nature of the science in these countries. There are many publications which are not included in these databases. So, Africa based citation index, exclusively covering scholarly research from the continent will perhaps give a better picture of the reality. Papers form these countries have received quite good number of citations. So it is quite sure that African engineering research has significant impact on the global science. In terms of collaboration, South Africa is the major collaborator and have good impact in global as well as within African collaboration. However there are further scopes of collaborations among African countries. The policy recommendations include more focused research in engineering disciplines and more collaboration among AU member countries.
Keywords: Bibliometrics, Scientometrics, Network Analysis, Engineering Research, Africa, Activity index, Relative Specialization Index
* Swapan Kumar Patra: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa email:
**Mammo Muchie: DST/NRF Research Professor, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa, ASTU, Ethiopia and TMDC, Oxford University, UK. Contact:
Earlier version of this paper was presented at Engineering Design Capacity Building and Economic Development in Africa at the Africalics'15 conference held at, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda, on 20th November 2015. The full paper is submitted to African Journal of Science Technology Innovation and Development in the Special Issue on Engineering Design.