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The failure of development policies and programmes in Africa can be blamed in part on the poor state of policy-oriented research. Arguably, the inter-relationship between policy and research on the continent is generally unimpressive. The current thinking among perceptive observers of the African public policy environment is that research is not making sufficient impact on policy process. How do we explain the poor link between research and the policy environment in Africa? This panel is expected to review the state of policy-oriented research in Africa, delineating the trends, patterns, opportunities and challenges. In this regard, papers presented will be invited to discuss the institutional setting of policy-oriented research in various African countries, its historical foundation, economic basis, and other environmental factors that influence its functioning in relation to the policy process. In addition, the panel will draw attention to the global, regional, and national contexts for policy-oriented research, the main sources of policy-oriented research in Africa, and the dominant responses of the policy makers and implementers.