Scientific co-authorship of African researchers has become a fashionable topic
in the recent scientometric literature. Researchers are investigating the effects, modes,
dynamics and motives of collaboration in a continental research system which is in an
embryonic stage and in different stages of development from country to country. In this
article we attempt to provide some additional evidence by examining both patterns of
collaboration at country and continental levels and the scientific disciplines emphasised.
Our findings indicate that the continent’s research emphasises medical and natural
resources disciplines to the detriment of disciplines supporting knowledge based economies
and societies. Furthermore, we identify that the collaborative patterns in Africa are
substantial higher than in the rest of the world. A number of questions related to research
collaboration and its effects are raised.