Capacity for forestry research in selected countries of West and Central Africa

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In 1997/98 a survey of nine forestry institutions in the West and Central Africa countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Gabon and Benin was conducted. The survey methodology utilises ten indicators of research capacity that facilitate comparisons across the survey sample. General trends relating to research capacity in the region are highlighted and include: insufficient collaborative research; poor linkages between research, education and development; inadequate flow of information and access to scientific literature; and a low level of sustainability for research programme support. While there is still a considerable need to invest in the development of human resources and physical infrastructure at the institutional level, governements and development assistance agencies should pay more attention to promoting efficiency and effectiveness of the 'supply' side of research systems (national and regional). There have been few consistent attempts to develop mechanisms to match research 'supply' to the real 'demands' in terms of providing solutions to the most pressing problems

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