This article reports for first time the state of science and technology in the African Continent on the basis of two scientometric indicators - number of research publications and number of patents awarded. Our analysis shows that
Africa produced 68 945 publications over the 2000-2004 period or 1.8% of the world’s publications. In comparison India produced 2.4% and Latin America 3.5% of the world’s research. More detailed analysis reveals that research
in Africa is concentrated in just two countries – South Africa and Egypt. These two counties produce just above 50% of the Continent’s publications and the top 8 countries produce above 80% of the continent’s research.
Disciplinary analysis reveals that few African countries have the minimum number of scientists required for the functioning of a scientific discipline. Examination of the continent’s inventive profile, as manifested in patents,
indicates that Africa produces less than one thousand of the world’s inventions. Furthermore 88% of the continent’s inventive activity in concentrated in South Africa. The article recommends that the African governments should pay
particular attention in developing their national research systems.