Journal of Scientometric Research, 2021, 10, 380-390.
Published: January 2022
Type: Research Article
1University of Antwerp, Faculty of Social Sciences, Antwerp, BELGIUM.
2Bureau d’études et de recherches en science de l’information, Saint Michel, Cotonou, Republic of BENIN.
The West African countries adopted in 2012 a five-year STI policy document that should have helped States to master all science fields required for the emergence of a scientific community able to compete and exchange with the best research teams worldwide. This paper aims at measuring the scientific productivity of West Africa after the first regional science, technology and innovation policy and compared to the period 2001-2010. West African countries’ scientific data were collected from Web of Science and analysed with regard to the annual production, the total production, growth rate, relative growth index, growth index, international collaboration rate, partner countries and their shares. Over the decade 2011-2020, the region produced more than three times its output over the decade 2001-2010. The international collaboration rate is still higher. The major partner countries are the same as over the previous decade, either in the world or on the African continent. Nigeria is still the local giant with more than half of the regional output; it is followed by Ghana, Senegal and Burkina Faso. The dynamics of production are not the same at country level. West African scientific production is growing more rapidly than the one of the World. Within the region, not all countries have the same volume of production or the same growth speed. Nigeria by far is the local giant, however Ghana is the one that imparts production speed to the region. Taken into account the skewness of the scientific production per country, the study proposes in-depth analysis of the 15 countries grouped in five clusters as follows: small producers (8 countries), lower intermediate producers (3 countries), upper intermediate producers (2 countries), higher producer (1 country) and highest producer (1 country).