Title: The scientific research wealth of African nations: do colonial origins matter?

Authors: Mawussé Komlagan Nézan Okey

Addresses: Faculty of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lomé, BP 13003, Lomé, Togo

Abstract: Africa performs relatively poor, in terms of scientific production compared to other regions of the world. Moreover, pronounced disparities persist in the number of scientific and technical journal articles published across countries of the continent. The main objective of this paper is to evaluate the role of colonial legacies in the scientific production in Africa. African countries have developed different scientific research and educational policies based on those of their former colonial powers. This has influenced differently the cost of scientific production as well as the ability of a given country's population to enrol in higher education, and allocate talented people into science and innovative activities rather than rent-seeking activities. Econometric tests are conducted on a panel of 47 African countries, over the period 1994 to 2009. Our results suggest that only the British colonial legacy affects positively the postcolonial scientific production. On average, former British colonies achieve higher number of scientific articles publications than former French or other colonies in Africa, because of their superior enrolment levels in higher education.

Keywords: scientific research; colonial origins; higher education; Africa; colonial legacy; educational policies; econometrics; scientific publications; enrolment levels.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEED.2014.059876

International Journal of Education Economics and Development, 2014 Vol.5 No.1, pp.113 - 125

Received: 18 Sep 2013
Accepted: 21 Nov 2013

Published online: 17 Mar 2014 *

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