Welcome to our about ATPS page.
The ATPS is a trans-disciplinary network of researchers, policymakers, private sector actors and the civil society that promote the generation, dissemination, use and mastery of STI for African development, environmental sustainability and global inclusion.
In collaboration with like-minded institutions, ATPS provides platforms for collaborative and innovative policy research to support African governments and STI institutions/stakeholders to build necessary knowledge conditions and infrastructures, policies and incentives, and capabilities for STI knowledge generation, brokerage, circulation, and socialization to ensure effective valorization and commercialization of scientific and indigenous knowledge into new technologies and innovations for sustainable development on the continent.
Today, the ATPS has over 1,500 members and 3000 stakeholders in over 51 countries in 5 continents with institutional partnerships worldwide. We implement our programs through members in national chapters established in 30 countries (27 in Africa and 3 Diaspora chapters in the Australia, United States of America, and United Kingdom) with its secretariat in Nairobi Kenya.
The 2014 Global Go Think Tanks and Civil Society Index released in January 2015, ranks the ATPS as the best managed Think Tank in Africa (19th globally); best Think Tank Network in Africa (14th globally); and the best Think Tank in Africa with the Most Significant Impact on Public Policy (31st globally). ATPS also ranked first amongst its peers in Africa in most of the criteria relevant to its mandate and strategic priorities, including: Best institutional collaboration involving two or more Think Tanks (15th globally); Best Trans-disciplinary Research Program at a Think Tank (11th globally); and Think Tanks with the Best Use of the Internet (26th globally).
To become the leading international centre of excellence and reference in science, technology and innovation systems research, training and capacity building, communication and sensitization, knowledge brokerage, policy advocacy and outreach in Africa.
To develop Africa’s STI capacity (knowledge basis & infrastructure, knowledge circulation & networks, knowledge conditions & policies) today for sustainable African development tomorrow
To improve the quality of science, technology and innovation systems research and policy making in Africa by strengthening capacity for science and technology knowledge generation, communication and dissemination, use and mastery for sustainable development in Africa
Building Africa’s capabilities in science, technology and innovation (STI) policy research, policymaking and policy implementation for sustainable development.
Executive Director's Statement
Welcome to the African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS)!
Bien Venue ATPS!
ATPS is a multi-disciplinary network of researchers, private sector actors, policy makers and civil society actors promoting the generation, dissemination, use and mastery of science, technology and innovation (STI) for African development, environmental sustainability and global inclusion. Our mission is to improve the quality of STI research, policy and practice for sustainable development in Africa, by Africans and for Africa.
All ATPS programs aim to build Africa’s Science, Technology and Innovation Capacity Today for Sustainable Development Tomorrow.
The goal is built on our firm believe that all development effort without a sound science, technology and innovation capacity is bound to yield unsustainable results. Building institutional and individual STI capacities in Africa is therefore the key to poverty alleviation, sustainable development and global inclusion of the African continent.
ATPS has therefore evolved from primarily two technology policy studies networks for Eastern and Southern Africa (EATPS) and Western Africa (WATPS) in the 1980s to an independent international organisation working on trans-disciplinary Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy research, policy formulation and policy practice for African development, since the year 2000. While retaining a science and technology policy focus, it has graduated to the STI centre of excellence and Knowledge for Development network in Africa. As it has evolved, so has its approach to capacity building, research, training, communication and outreach, and partnerships.
Science, Technology and Innovation Capacity building is the core of all ATPS activities: the capacity of researchers to conduct innovative STI policy relevant research; the capacity of policymakers, private sector actors and the civil society to understand, articulate, formulate and implement relevant STI policies; the capacity of our national chapters to sustain national policy dialogue and monitor implementation; and the capacity to communicate and share science, technology and innovation more broadly within the African continent and beyond.
The year 2008 saw the launch of the ATPS Phase VI Strategic Plan, 2008 – 2012. The five year Strategic Plan which commenced on January 2008, has adopted a forward looking and ambitious agenda. During the implementation of the ATPS Phase VI Plan, ATPS will continue to close the loop through four interrelated functions:
- Knowledge Generation (Research & Research Capacity Building/Training);
- Knowledge Brokerage (Stakeholder Dialogue, Knowledge Circulation and Networking);
- Knowledge Dissemination & Outreach – (Publications, STI Journalism, Policy Advocacy);
- Knowledge Valorization – (Innovation Incubation and Challenge Programs, etc).
Our research process, either thematic/regional or small grants, does not allow research for research sake. It is also not an avenue to increase our stock of publications in international journals as important as this may be. All our thematic research and facilitative program activities aim at providing practical solutions to practical problems through science, technology and innovation. All ATPS research and research related activities must demonstrate social relevance both in its conception and execution. Emphasis must be placed on social innovation, indicating how the project is likely to improve the material conditions of the people who are affected by the problem under investigation, and how they are likely to be better equipped to deal with these problems after the current effort proposed. Two critical elements of this are: dialogue with the intended users throughout the process (through knowledge exchange exercises, practical demonstrations etc) and an actionable implementation plan using the results of the activity. Summarised in a sentence, ATPS research and research related activities all aim at improving the innovative capacity of Africans to solve their own problems, and on the other hand, improve their capacity to use and master scientific knowledge, indigenous and emerging technologies and innovations for sustainable development in Africa. Knowledge brokerage, STI communication and outreach and knowledge valorisation therefore remain core activities of all ATPS research activities. By technology we mean, the application of knowledge, including the skills necessary to deploy principles, procedures, and processes that can be used to modify, manipulate and otherwise produce changes in the specific features of the physical world to serve human or social purpose. This is in other words, “knowledge used to solve problems”. By innovative capacity here, we mean the capacity to introduce new products, processes and services and to organizational and societal renewal, for development, and by STI valorization we mean, utilization and mastery of STI to add value to human livelihoods. By valorization of innovation, we mean actual translation of scientific outputs into tangible social designs, institutional designs, technologies and products to aid poverty alleviation and sustainable development, i.e. “putting knowledge into use”.
Our training programs and policy seminars are increasingly serving as avenues for utilizing results of ATPS supported research as well as the results of research and experiences from other institutions and countries. ATPS is serving as a broker of knowledge, evaluating, synthesizing and passing on policy relevant knowledge to all its key stakeholders including policymakers, farmers’ associations, other NGOs, international organizations and the private sector within the context of Africa’s aspirations and values. One new feature of our training program is the training of journalists in science and technology writing and reporting. In order to increase the appreciation for science and technology led development, Africa needs a cadre of journalists that will devote their energy to understanding and communicating science and technology to a wider audience. This platform will provide veritable outlets for putting STI into use in Africa through media outreach. ATPS promotes the African perspectives in all its activities, seeking solutions within the African intellectual community at home and in the Diaspora and complementing it with relevant knowledge from anywhere else through global and multi-lateral dialogues and partnerships.
Our national partnership strategy is also evolving. ATPS national chapters are forging links with national institutions whose contributions materially and in-kind are important is subsidizing ATPS national activities. Under the new governance framework of the chapters, emphasis is placed on the participation of the quadruple helix: the Policymakers/state institutions; the academia, the private sector and the civil society at all levels of the ATPS governance structure. We are devising new strategies for increasing Africa’s support to STI capacity building and ATPS in particular.
Our publication strategy is selective and targeted, addressing varied audience. New emphasis is on publications of titles with broad based/regional appeal. Our Technopolicy Briefs, targeted at the busy policymakers, are the most popular. It downloads complex science, technology and innovation issues into a language that is at the same time accessible and robust.
ATPS is a unique institution in many ways: its network of chapters; its trans-disciplinary approach and focus on demand led activities; its growing membership and partners in Africa and globally, all add to give it a distinct voice in Africa’s science, technology and innovation policy arena. Its message that science, technology and innovation are the bedrocks for African development seems obvious. But this is a message that is requiring persistence, hard work and a lot of efforts to deliver and internalize. But ATPS understands the challenges and is gradually mastering the tools.
We hold a firm belief that the missing link in Africa’s development struggle is the lack of focus on building science, technology and innovation capacity at both individual and institutional levels. We do not however believe in recounting Africa’s chequered development history and/or finding excuses why we cannot achieve sustainable development, as important and true as these may be. We are determined not to dwell on our failures and the many development challenges we face but to “learn from our mistakes yesterday”, “act differently our today” and “secure our tomorrow”. We see the unlimited development solution and the unlamented opportunities that building science, technology and innovation capacities presents for the new African renaissance. We dream of the new Africa where science, technology and innovation is the norm, and poverty is history.
We also know that together we can build Africa’s science, technology and innovation capacity to make these dreams come true. We ask you the reader, and all our other stakeholders to join us in this collective endeavor for the betterment of human kind. We believe that with your support, we can together alleviate poverty in Africa and build a more sustainable world. Yes We Can.
Please do join us to build Africa’s science, technology and innovation capacity today for sustainable development tomorrow.
Dr. Nicholas Ozor
The ATPS Phase VII Strategy
Our planet earth is facing a convergence of crisis: climate change induced extreme events, global financial crisis, deepening poverty and unemployment, energy and food insecurity, social inequities and political instability, and fast depleting natural assets. These exacerbate the challenge of sustainable development at all scales.
There is growing consensus that new pathways to development are urgently required and “the search for solutions need to shift from the search for more financial resources to “growing smart”. Transitioning from current to the desired growth pathways requires unprecedented systemic transformations in knowledge, technologies and innovation at all levels: from institutional/governance innovations, to products/service innovations up to social innovations that address the needs of the masses at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Bridging the chasms between public opinion, the scientific, technological and innovation (STI) capabilities, and public policy required to deliver the transitions at the required speed and scale remains problematic.
Africa holds great promise and opportunities for shaping these transitions. Its rich resource endowments and largely undeveloped economies provide opportunities for leapfrogging to more sustainable development pathways at reduced social, economic and environmental costs. Unless urgent actions are taken to address the STI policy and knowledge capacity gaps in Africa, the capability to sustain the development gains so far achieved in Africa and avoid social catastrophes including growing youth unemployment and the associated restive societies remain bleak.
In collaboration with like-minded institutions, ATPS provides platforms for collaborative and innovative policy research and knowledge brokerage for addressing this challenge. The ATPS supports African governments and STI institutions/stakeholders to build necessary knowledge conditions and infrastructures, policies and incentives, and capabilities for STI knowledge generation, brokerage, circulation, and socialisation to ensure effective valorisation and commercialization of scientific and indigenous knowledge into new technologies and innovations for sustainable development on the continent.
The Phase VII Strategic Plan is designed to improving the understanding and functioning of STI policy research and policymaking processes and systems to strengthen capabilities, social responses, and governance of STI-led sustainable development in Africa.
The six strategic activities include:
- STI Policy Research and Research Capacity Building (STI-RCB)
- Intra-Africa and Global Collaboration and Partnership (IGCP)
- Youth and Gender Empowerment (YGEP)
- Training and Sensitization (T&S)
- STI Knowledge Brokerage, Commercialization and Policy Advocacy (KB-CPA)
- Cross Cutting Goals (CCGs)
Our target beneficiaries include African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), African Regional Economic Communities (RECs), national governments, Universities and Colleges of Education; and Practitioners at the grassroots including youths and women, farmers and community based organisations, the private sector, among others. Drawing on its rich network of experts in all aspects of the innovation systems in African countries: the policymakers, science experts, private sector actors and the civil society actors, ATPS ensures that its STI policy research and policy making programs are fully embedding Africa’s social, economic and political realities, addressing African policy priorities; effectively engaging all actors in the relevant innovation system; and implemented at improved cost-effectiveness and low administration costs ratios.
Drawing on its rich network of experts in all aspects of the innovation systems in African countries: the policymakers, science experts, private sector actors and the civil society actors (Figure 3), ATPS ensures that its STI policy research and policy making programs are:
- fully embedding Africa’s social, economic and political realities, addressing African policy priorities (i.e. socialization of STI in Africa);
- effectively engaging all actors in the relevant innovation system in knowledge generation, dissemination, and deployment in policy design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation (i.e. democratic governance of STI in Africa);
- implemented at improved cost-effectiveness and low administration costs ratios (i.e. enhanced value for money invested).
- Achieving tangible impacts on livelihoods of citizens in African communities;
- Influencing and informing public policies with cutting edge STI knowledge;
- Fostering development, deployment and diffusion and technological and social innovations at all scales for African development;
- Facilitating intra-Africa and global partnerships in STI policy research, policymaking and implementation for sustainable development;
- Nurturing and harnessing the innovative capabilities of African youths and women;
- Brokering the sharing of knowledge, technologies and innovations within African countries and internationally; and
- Building STI capabilities for sustainable development in Africa.
Following the ATPS Phase VI Strategic Plan, 2008 – 2012 , the ATPS adopts a network management structure to ensure effective identification, implementation, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of its STI capacity building activities in the region. For want of better ways of representing the network management structure in a two dimensional plane, the structure is presented in Figure 1 below:
Each sector of the ATPS organizational structure is discussed briefly below:
The ATPS Board:
The overall policy-making body of ATPS is the international Board of Directors comprising African and non-African scholars, policymakers and private sector actors. The Board formulates and monitors the implementation of policies and procedures designed to fulfill the network’s objectives. To ensure proactive monitoring and evaluation of the activities of the ATPS, both at the regional and sub-regional levels, the Board membership represents the main regions covered by the ATPS: Southern, Eastern, and Western Africa; a representatives of the Francophone speaking countries to address the language barriers and the two representatives of the international community. The Board meets twice each year to review and approve program implementation plans and budgets for each period and assess performance of the Network accordingly.Learn More
Responsible STI Advisory Committee:
Unlike the other Executive Board committees, membership of the Responsible STI Advisory Committee is not restricted to the ATPS Board of Governors. The committee which acts mainly in an advisory capacity includes delegates from the ATPS Board of Governors and a selected number of invited international STI experts. Delegates of the ATPS Secretariat and the ATPS National Chapters also sit on the committee in ex-officio capacity to ensure effective communication between the committee and the ATPS Network. Learn more
ATPS has an independent and dynamically evolving Secretariat with staff to provide executive direction, administrative implementation and physical infrastructure to the network. Learn more
ATPS National Chapters Regional Steering Committee (ATPS-NCRSC)
The ATPS-NCRSC comprises elected representatives of the regions covered by the ATPS in sub-Saharan Africa including the Western, Eastern, Southern, and Francophone regions. The committee serves as a liaison between the National Chapters and the Secretariat with the primary goal of proactively engaging the Secretariat in developing, monitoring and coordinating the STI capacity building activities of the ATPS chapters in each region. Learn more
Each National Chapter Coordinator provides intellectual and administrative leadership for ATPS activities in his/her country. The Secretariat liaises with national chapters to raise funds for carrying various STI capacity building activates at the country levels. The national chapters liaises with relevant STI Ministries, Knowledge Institutions and Private Sector Actors in their country to identify and prioritize STI capacity building needs at the country level. These identified needs inform the overall regional strategic plan of the ATPS for each strategic phase, usually covering a four year period. Learn more
The Expert Consultants (Resource Persons)
The Expert Consultants provide intellectual guidance and methodology training for each thematic research program. These consultants also ensure that the science quality of the research and training carried out under ATPS thematic programs are of international standard and provide capacity building and mentoring support to ATPS researchers.
Membership of the ATPS is held at the national chapter levels. Membership comprises policymakers, NGOs, consultants, research organizations and private sector actors. Two forms of membership are encouraged: institutional membership and individual membership. Learn more
Donors and Sponsors
Donors and sponsors at 2015:
- United States Department For Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS)
- Technical Centre for Agriculture (CTA/Netherlands)
- Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed)
- JRS Biodiversity Foundation
- Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya – AFFA (Fiber Crops Directorate)
- The Royal Dutch Government
- The Rockefeller Foundation
- The National Universities Commission (NUC)
- The Federal Republic of Nigeria through the Raw Materials Research and Development Council(RMRDC)
- UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Cultural Organisation(UK-POST)
- European Commission
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
- United Nations Environmental Program-UNEP
- Welcome Trust
- DANIDA (Through Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa)
- University of Parlemo
- University of MAastrich
ATPS has also been funded by:
- African Development Bank (AfDB)
- The International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
- Ford Foundation
- Coca-Cola, Eastern Africa
- Carnegie Corporation
- The World Bank (InfoDev)
- African Institute of Economic Development and Planning
- UK Institute of Science an Technology (UK-POST)
- International Society for Ecological Economists
- The OPEC Fund
- Federal Republic of Nigeria
- United Nations – Institute for Economic Development and Planning (UN-IDEP)
- New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
- Common Markets for East and South Africa (COMESA)
- ICTSD-Centre for Trade and Sustainable development
- Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA/SAREC)
- University of Nairobi (UoN)
- Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
- African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)
- Biotechnology Trust Africa (BTA)
- British Council – Kenya
- World Wildlife Fund Eastern Afric
- United Nations Agencies such as UNEP, UNESCO, UN-Habitat
- Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)
- Harvard University, USA
- African Union
- African Institute for Applied Economics (AIAE)
- The Association of African Universities (AAU)
- Pan African AgriBusiness Consortium
- African Academy of Sciences (AAS)
- Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
- Ethiopian International Institute for Peace and Development (EIIPD)
- Jomo Kenyatta University of Technology (JKUAT)
- Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP)
- International Plant Genetic Research Institute, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)
- International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
- The Intermediate Technology Development Group, Eastern Africa (ITDG-EA)
- The International Center for Insect Science and Ecology (ICIPE)
- Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Government of Kenya
- United Nations University for New Technologies (UNU/INTECH)
Membership of the ATPS is held at the national chapter levels. Membership comprises policymakers, NGOs, consultants, research organizations and private sector actors. Two forms of membership are encouraged: institutional membership and individual membership.
ATPS Membership is by payment of the stipulated annual membership fees to the respective National Chapter Coordinators. Members are required to renew their subscription