Opening Access – Views From The South

Lucy Browse, Sioux Cumming, and Susan Murray | ICT Update | June 1, 2013

Open access initiatives help African countries to face development challenges.

Initiatives in Africa to open up access to research results are helping countries there face development challenges and bridge the knowledge gap with industrialised countries.

The ability to access relevant research results is essential for countries to solve the many development challenges they face. This is particularly true in the South, where the need for sustainable agriculture to feed a growing population and other development challenges require policies and action designed for local situations and needs. Initiatives such as the Journals Online project, African Journals Online and Research4Life, and conscious efforts to develop open access policies, as the University of Nairobi in Kenya has done, are the first steps in bridging the knowledge gap between industrialised and developing countries.

Two-way street

Developing countries will only fully integrate into the knowledge economy if they also become producers of research and not just receivers of international ‘knowledge’. [...]