The Dilating Core: South African Nanotechnology Research as the Critical Node for Mapping the African Nanotechnology Development Network. No. 2014-004 Featured



By many standards, South Africa is a class of its own in terms of African science, technology and innovation (STI). South Africa is a nation with the only nuclear power generating capability on the continent. It is the only African nation to have research presence on Antarctica. Its research facilities are equipped with instruments that cannot be found anywhere else on the continent and it is now host to the world’s largest telescope. With research ranging from ICT to biotech, from space technology to materials science, South Africa’s innovation portfolio is ‘set to be the continent’s most diversified.’(African Business, 2012) The rest of Africa needs to tap into South Africa’s developed nanotechnology research infrastructure if it is to harness the power of nanotechnology for poverty alleviation and overall development. While there are nascent networks connecting other African countries to South African nanotechnology research institutions, much more needs to be done to make the networks as robust and as dense as they should be. An important feature of such networks will be its potential for the rest of Africa to hook into the broader network to which South Africa is affiliated through a ‘friends of a friend’ arrangement. This would create valuable platforms where roles of real significance are assigned and executed. South Africa has taken big strides acknowledging and initiating the establishment of national and regional networks for nanotechnology knowledge production and sharing.

Last modified onThursday, 11 December 2014 10:33

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