In February 2020, INGSA-Africa announced the winners of their 2019 Project Concept Competition.
Shortly after, the world was forced to pivot entirely to the threat of COVID-19 and regrettably, these essays were not celebrated in the way we would have liked
So even though the local and global context has now changed so much, we wanted to release the winning Project Concepts from 2019 and hope that you find them insightful despite the delay in their publication.
Marienne Makoudem Tene
The infatuation of developed countries for research may be related to its importance in development, whether it is theoretical research or applied research. For this reason large sums of money are invested and thousands of researchers recruited to meet the objectives that these states want to achieve. For example, the United States has 4,000 researchers per million inhabitants, while Brazil has 150 and only 80 for Africa. This may explain why Africa accounts for only 2% of research results. Faced with the immensity of needs, African countries have made a commitment to invest 1% of their GDP in research, a goal far removed from the achievements, with the exception of a few countries.
When results are produced, the challenge remains their popularization as well as their integration into the daily lives of the people: hence the importance of scientific advice to the government. On observation, in Africa, there is a parallel existence between decision-makers and the world of research. There is still very little relationship between researchers and diplomats who lead diplomatic relations with the world, including on scientific aspects. However, each of these stakeholders aims to contribute to the well-being of the people. The challenge for African countries in general and those of CEMAC member countries is to find ways to harmonize relations between these three categories in order to raise their level of development.
To help promote scientific advice to government and scientific diplomacy, we plan to write a reference book that will serve as an outreach tool and guide for each stakeholder. The book will be entitled: “Scientific Advice to Government and Scientific Diplomacy for the Emergence of CEMAC Countries: A Practical Guide.” It will be presented as follows:
- Chapter 1: Conceptual clarification and state of play. This chapter addresses the operational definition used throughout the book. In addition, it provides an overview of the implementation of the scientific council and the scientific diploma in Cameroon and IN CEMAC.
- Chapter 2: Why Scientific Advice to Government and Scientific Diplomacy? This chapter aims to highlight on the one hand the theoretical framework of analysis of scientific advice to government and scientific diplomacy; on the other, it highlights their importance in the development process.
- Chapter 3: Scientific Advice to Government and Scientific Diplomacy from elsewhere. We are talking about reviewing the literature of the impact of scientific advice in government and scientific diplomacy around the world. This work will pave the way for the next one that focuses on good practices in the use of scientific advice in government and scientific diplomacy.
- Chapter 4: Scientific Advice to Government and Scientific Diplomacy: Good Practices (Technical Aspects and Funding Mobilization Strategies)
- Chapter 5: Practical Guide to the Implementation of a Scientific Advisory Process to Government and Scientific Diplomacy in an Emerging Research Context
After publication of the book, signing sessions will be organized, radio, TV and print media. In addition, social networks will be involved.
This book will be aimed at the following groups of people:
- Scientists (with an emphasis on young researchers). They need to ensure that the topics they are working on are relevant to their communities. They must also know how to make their results digestible for other players. And finally, they must know how to negotiate international research contracts.
- The decision-makers. They need to be aware of the importance of research for development. They need to master how to introduce these results into their public policy formulation, implementation and evaluation processes.
- Young administrators and young diplomats. This book must be popularized to them so that they understand the issues and risks associated with the misuse or use of scientific advice in government and scientific diplomacy. Without necessarily making a course, but a seminar can be addressed to them with the support of this book.
- Decision-makers at the level of the various bodies at the CEMAC level. There is a need to harmonize policies at this level. To do this effectively, it is better to have the same approaches even if in implementation, country specificities must be taken into account.
- Those responsible for the decentralized structures. In fact, they are the operational bodies of the state. In addition, they are closer to the population.
- They are well aware of the issues and will ensure that legislation has a scientific basis and that substantial budgets are allocated to this sector.
- Civil society organizations and development partners. Some of them have significant funding capacity and can support or continue to support research. In addition, others serve as sources of information for researchers. By showing them the issues, they can be more cooperative. Finally, they can be used as a means of pressure and to make pleas to states.
- They need to understand why it is important to invest in research. In this way, they will take action that favours the use of the results of research.
 French-speaking African countries lag behind other countries, with CEMAC further behind.