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Accepted Paper:

STI policies and Industrial strategies for developing countries in post COVID-19 economic recovery: a focus on pharmaceutical innovation system in West Africa  
Emmanuel Ejim-Eze (National Centre for Technology Management)

Paper short abstract:

Science as usual during the COVID-19 pandemic left some countries without essential drugs. Innovation systems that could not tackle existing challenges were off-balance in the face of new challenges. This paper is emphasizing the need for mix approaches for innovation systems in Africa

Paper long abstract:

The COVID-19 has triggered new forms of nationalism and industrial policies. Some countries restricted the distribution of drugs, vaccines and other non-pharmaceutical products during the pandemic to stem political pressures and civil disturbances. These restrictions gained legitimacy when they were termed issues of national security. However, it is surprising that countries had restrictions at the borders but the virus was spreading even with the tightest restrictions. How can poor countries in West Africa manage low supply of drugs and other essential medicines during this supply chain disruption? Is the production of essential medicines within national boundaries not an issue of national security? How could innovation systems in poor countries support pharmaceutical manufacturing to produce essential medicines if not COVID -19 drugs?

This paper focuses on pharmaceutical innovation systems in West Africa. The race to develop drugs, vaccines, and personal protective equipment is still on. Findings from this study show that most African states were not in the race due to the fact that they import most of the pharmaceutical and related products. This is due to lack of access to raw materials, skilled manpower, modern equipment, poor pharmaceutical R&D funding, Limited utilization of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Flexibilities, and public procurement

This paper recommended the use of mix STI and DUI models for the development of the pharmaceutical innovation system in Africa to help the regional tackle present health and economic impacts of the covid-19 pandemic. It also recommended new roles of STI funding bodies in Africa

Round Table P39
Science as (un)usual: COVID-19, science, innovation and societal recovery in Sub-Saharan Africa
  Session 1 Thursday 1 July, 2021, -