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The African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) is a pioneering development research think tank on harnessing applications of science, technology and innovation policies for sustainable development in Africa. ACTS is an Intergovernmental organization founded in 1988 to pursue policy oriented research towards strengthening the capacity of African countries and institutions to harness science and technology for sustainable development. ACTS envisions a sustainable economic, social and environmental future for Africa, through science, technology and innovation.
Article 3 of the Charter of ACTS, empowers the Organization to undertake capacity building, conduct research, provide advisory services and disseminate information on the policy aspects of the application of science and technology to sustainable development in Africa. It also requires ACTS to:
- Promote capacity building in the developing countries in the field of policy analysis related to sustainable development.
- Monitor international trends in science and technology, undertake technology assessment and forecasting and analyze the impacts of new technologies for purposes of providing policy options to African and other developing country governments.
- Promote, enhance, inspire, study and conduct the building of the institutional framework requisite for the management, assessment, sustainable utilization and conservation of natural resources.
- Foster the exchange of information and networking between the Centre and other governmental and private institutions and individuals that have similar or related interests at the local, national, regional and international levels, with particular emphasis on policy matters.
- Promote, encourage, inspire and undertake technical cooperation activities between and within nations.
Since its founding, ACTS has been instrumental in enlarging the range of policy choices for sustainable development in Africa. Over the last quarter century, ACTS’ work has influenced patent (i.e. industrial property) legislation and policy (Kenya); environmental impact assessment standards (Eastern and Southern Africa); bio-energy and biofuels policy (Kenya, Eastern Africa, West Africa); agricultural policy, bio-diplomacy, biotechnology and biosafety (Africa-wide); climate change adaptation and mitigation (Africa-wide).
ACTS remains among the leading institutions working on sustainable development in Africa. In 2013, it was rated amongst the top Environment Think Tanks in Africa and the world. ACTS is also a past winner (1991) of the Justinian Rweyemamu Prize from CODESRIA (Africa’s Social Science Research Council) for its work in expanding the knowledge base for Africa’s development.