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African Challenges and Opportunities for Decolonised Research-Led Innovation and Communication for Societal Transformation

From the book Race and Sociocultural Inclusion in Science Communication

  • Akanimo Odon


In an era where there is a crucial need to identify long-term solutions to sustainable development, global change, and challenges across the world, there is a strategic lead that science, technology, and innovation-focused organisations in Africa (including government, universities, and research and development departments of industries) can take to develop homegrown policies and initiatives to allow Africans themselves to provide solutions to their own particular needs and challenges. The communication of science using language constructs and systems that cut across the triple helix of academia, industry, and government is a fundamental component of that transformational and decolonised landscape for public engagement. However, there is an underlying pressure on researchers in Africa to communicate science in specific ways that align with the expectations and frameworks set by research funders and proponents of internationalisation in the Global North. This opens up a conversation that justifies the need for the decolonisation of the research and science communication agenda, especially if it must attend to local challenges and create developmental opportunities across the African region. Pressure to communicate science according to expectations and institutional priorities set by the Global North – which is often linked to research career promotion – restricts the use of science communication for local benefit. There is no arguing that there are huge gaps between scientific research and industry in many regions of the Global South, particularly in Africa. There is thus an urgent need to design policy tools, knowledge transfer programmes, and pathway-to-impact models that ensure a new era of impact-oriented and decolonised research and innovation in African countries and to communicate these innovations effectively for uptake without Eurocentric shackles. At the heart of this imperative is the need for capacity building, equitable strategic partnerships, and systemic re-orientation of science communication for societal transformation.


decolonisationscience communicationGlobal Southresearchinnovation
© Bristol University Press 2023, excluding Chapter 12 © Tibisay Sankatsing Nava, Roxanne-Liana Francisca, Krista T. Oplaat, and Tadzio Bervoets
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