'Scientific independence', capacity building, and the development of UNESCO's science and technology agenda for Africa
This article analyses the shifting rationales for scientific collaboration|in the work of the United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural|Organization (UNESCO) in the science sector in Africa from the late|colonial period through to the era of capacity building. Focusing|on the late colonial period and the post-independence decades of|'national science' in Africa, it analyses UNESCO's role in science policy,|engineering training, and natural resources research. It demonstrates|that in the era of national science UNESCO's activities were couched in|the language of independence: developing capacities in the sciences|was regarded as the key to obtaining 'scientific independence' to|match the recently obtained political independence. This marked a|significant change from the 1950s when UNESCO based its operations|in Africa on collaborations with the European colonial powers. The|article argues that the link between scientific independence and|political self-determination gave way as UNESCO rebranded scientific|capacity-building activities as efforts in the pursuit of an unclearlydefined|common good.