Joining up science and energy policymaking

How does energy fit into the African Union? Credit: Flickr/warrenski

As my blog co-pilot Munya and I were looking around for evidence of joint African policymaking on energy (ahead of the policy roundtable this morning) we stumbled across something interesting.

Last week, the pan-African ministerial grouping on energy – the Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa – met in Maputo, Mozambique. Keen to raise the issue of pan-African policymaking in this forum, we asked the panel of policymakers to explain how energy fits into the African Union.

The answers weren’t great – partly because one of the policymakers at least was from the science and technology arena, rather than the energy one.

One of the important things to emphasise in relation to that is that if academies want their advice to be taken up by governments, they will need to look further than the ministry responsible for science. This is particularly important at the pan-African level, where communication between policy areas is even rarer than at national level.

It would be a shame if African academies’ advisory reports end up gathering dust in on the desk of the rather toothless African Ministerial Council for Science and Technology.

Linda Nordling, SciDev.Net columnist

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