A greater focus on science, technology and innovation can enable Angola to diversify its economic base and help the southern African nation not only recover from its nearly three-decade long civil conflict but also become an engine of growth for the continent, a new United Nations study has found.
Economic diversification and reconstruction are Angola’s top development priorities, according to the science, technology, and innovation policy (STIP) review conducted by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
The economic base of the country, which was devastated by a 27-year civil war that finally ended in 2002, is currently dependent on natural resource exploitation.
The report urges the Government to put in place measures to maximize the potential benefits from technologies and knowledge brought in by “non-mineral foreign direct investment (FDI).”
The use of modern technology and knowledge would also greatly boost national efforts to meet the global anti-poverty targets world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015, known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The report also recommends that a national framework be set up to develop and coordinate efforts related to science, technology and innovation.
UNCTAD is also assisting Angola with several projects in the areas of global trade, debt management and promoting small businesses.
Similar science, technology and innovation reviews have been carried out by the Geneva-based agency for seven developing countries, resulting in recommendations for setting up appropriate national innovation systems and on maximizing the development impacts of science and technology.