In the "Study on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Angola", carried out between 2020 and 2022, presented this Thursday in Luanda, it is also considered that the innovation system in Angola "is still at an embryonic stage".
To "remedie" the low budget for research and development, "the Angolan government made an investment of 100 million dollars in Science, Technology and Innovation (CTI) over five years, partially financed by a loan from the African Development Bank (BAD)".
"However, much more is needed. Therefore, the Government should increase the budget allocated to research and development to meet the African objective of 1 percent of GDP for research and development", the report reads.
The increase in the sector's budget "will promote the creation of a critical mass of research sufficient to support the established manufacturing and productive development priorities and to progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals", it adds.
The study was prepared by the United Nations Office on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Angola and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation.
According to the survey, the Government "is making efforts" to increase the scientific capacity of the National Innovation System (SNI), but the ministry "should increase funding for science in general to avoid lagging behind overall performance, in addition to improving its organizational structure in higher education".
The ministry "should focus scientific development on priority areas for sustainable development and economic diversification. This suggests greater efforts to increase the country's engineering and technological capacity," the study says.
As scientific capabilities "are emerging in certain areas", it is noted, "it makes sense to match these with manufacturing priorities".
At the same time, he adds, "scientific freedom and independent research are fundamental for the advancement of science and could help to find new avenues for the development of priority activities as well".
The survey states that most entrepreneurs in Angola are informal and many who aspire to be so "need to improve their skills" and entrepreneurship training is the main mechanism to deal with this challenge.
Despite a confident local attitude towards entrepreneurship, "a business culture is yet to be developed. The SNI and Angolan entrepreneurs are not only hampered by the limitations of human resources in the investor and business segments".
"But, also, for the general quality of the licensed and professional manpower", it is underlined.
The study highlights the creation of the National Fund for the Development of Science, Research and Technology (Fundecit) in July 2021, whose mandate is to finance scientific and technological projects from budgetary and extra-budgetary sources and to evaluate and accredit institutions dedicated to research scientific and technological.
Fundecit "can contribute significantly" to the advancement of science, technology and innovation projects in Angola, however, the study notes, access to funding "continues to be one of the most challenging aspects of the business ecosystem in Angola".
"Most companies lack research and development and engineering departments, and there is almost no private sector funding for science, technology and innovation," the analysis says.
The study was presented this Thursday by UNCTAD economist Clovis Freire, during a meeting to present the initiatives of the strategic partnership between the ministry and UNDP between 2020 and 2022.
The analysis also mentions that the Government has implemented and created various policies, programs and institutions to promote industry, innovation and infrastructure within its National Development Plan (PDN 2018-2022).
"However, more efforts are needed because the SNI in Angola is still at an embryonic stage. For example, in 2021, Angola ranked 132 out of 132 countries in the 2021 Global Innovation Index report", said Clovis Freire.
And the sophistication and development of the Angolan SNI, he pointed out, "were below what would be expected considering the country's per capita income level".
The research notes that the number of articles in peer-reviewed scientific publications has "tripled" in the last decade in Angola and suggests an improvement in the country's scientific capabilities, particularly in areas of knowledge close to those in which Angola was already active in 2010.
"However, Angola's contribution to global knowledge is still small, and low levels of research and development have resulted in few patents, although the number of patents granted locally is increasing", the study also says.