Introduction to the First Issue of the East African Journal of Science, Technology, and innovation
On behalf of the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO) and on my own behalf, I am delighted and honored to present the inaugural issue of the East African Journal of Science, Technology, and Innovation (EAJSTI). The EAJSTI is published by the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO) in collaboration with the Inter-University Council of East Africa (IUCEA). The journal provides a regional platform for the exchange of scientific knowledge, technology and innovations that are generated from universities, research institutions and the industry in East Africa and beyond. EAJSTI is a peer-reviewed, open access and multidisciplinary low-cost scientific journal whose main objective is to enhance, advance and disseminate scientific, technological and innovative knowledge that supports regional socio-economic development. The journal therefore focuses on publishing new knowledge from research,
Although sub-Saharan African makes up 13.4% of the world population, it only contributes 1.1% to global scientific knowledge. In addition, research output in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in sub-Saharan Africa has been lagging behind other disciplines and declining annually at 0.2% since 2002. In a bid to contribute to reversing this trend, EAJSTI will focus on publishing new knowledge from research, which demands sustainable, relevant and impactful scientific research with emphasis on innovation.
The East African Community (EAC) Vision 2050, implemented through 5-years medium-term plans, envisions the region to become a knowledge-based economy, and to transition into a middle-income status by the year 2050. A critical ingredient in this pursuit is investment in knowledge, which involves both knowledge creation through research and development, and knowledge transfer through various dissemination channels. The EAJSTI intends to contribute to this vision through dissemination of research output for enhanced economic productivity and competitiveness of the region. This effort will also be supported by a number of related initiatives being spearheaded by EASTECO, in collaboration with other institutions in the EAC Partner States, including:
- Development of regional policies in various areas to support joint and collaborative efforts e.g. the EAC regional STI policy that is expected to guide investments in S&T and the Regional Intellectual Property (IP) Policy aimed at harmonizing IP governance in the region as well as stimulating creativity and innovation;
- Development of a regional research agenda that is expected to lead to better coordinated and focused research targeted at finding solutions to local challenges;
- Establishment of an online Regional repository for all available research, researchers and research facilities in the EA region;
- Holding Biennial Regional STI Conference, in collaboration with the IUCEA, to promote the industry, academia and public research partnerships;
- Capacity building for regional stakeholders in scientific writing, through face to face training and through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs);
- Supporting regional collaborative research through research grants based on the agreed regional research agenda, which will facilitate a focused generation of solutions to our social needs and an increased and sustained economic growth.
These initiatives together with EAJSTI are dedicated to increasing production and access to research outputs, increasing regional and multidisciplinary research collaboration, building research and scientific publication capacity, aiding the involvement of the private sector in commercializing the research outputs and contributing to the transition of the EAC region to a knowledge-based economy. In order to realise STI’s full potential in contributing to growth and development, all relevant stakeholders, including the private sector, must work together in a seamless partnership for the sustainable transformation of the EAC region.
We are grateful to the African Development Bank, through the Nelson Mandela Institution (NMI), who provided the initial funds to enable us carry out preparatory activities for establishing this Journal, including consultative meetings in all the six EAC partner states where stakeholders enthusiastically adopted the concept of EAJSTI. We are also grateful to the EAC Partner States that have committed to providing funding for operational costs, and to IUCEA, with which we have jointly shared the passion and the journey for the establishment of EAJSTI. We also thank the Editorial Board, led by Prof. George Gitau - the Editor-in-chief, and all reviewers for responding to the call to contribute to the realization of this important initiative.
To East Africans, I say congratulations on reaching this important milestone!
Caption for the image: Rt. Hon. Kirundi Kivejinja (L) Uganda Minister in charge of EAC launched the EAJSTI. On the right is the Editor -in Chief, Prof. George Gitau
One People, One Destiny.
Ms. Gertrude Ngabirano
East African Science & Technology Commission (EASTECO).