Engineering research profile of countries in the African Union

DOI: 10.1080/20421338.2017.1341732
Author(s): Swapan Kumar PatraBusiness School, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa, Mammo MuchieDST/NRF SARChI Professor, South Africa


Scholarly publication output of engineering research from the member countries of the African Union (AU) are mapped using scholarly publication data from the Scopus® database of Elsevier. The countries are ranked based on various parameters, for example; number of publications, activity index, citations received and so on. The collaboration profiles of countries are plotted using Social Network Analysis tools. The results show that the engineering research publications are increasing in Africa at an exponential rate. However, this is not the main research focus, as the indicators like the activity index and the relative specialization index show overall negative productivity. The possible reason for low productivity in engineering science is perhaps due to the limited coverage of African scholarly publications in global citation databases. Interestingly, engineering research papers from the AU member countries have received quite a good number of citations. So, it is fairly certain that African engineering research has significant impact on global science. In terms of collaboration, South Africa is the most major collaborator and has good impact on global collaborations, as well as within African. However, there are further scopes of alliances among African countries. The policy recommendations include more focused research in engineering disciplines and more cooperation among AU member countries.

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