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Expenditures of R&D institutes

It is by reducing the scope of our inquiry that we can better improve the accuracy of our data. The reduction is to locally financed expenditures by institutes whose primary function is R&D. We have observed that it is these expenditures that are reported by African governments in response to the questionnaires of international agencies like UNESCO (UNESCO, 1990). For R&D institutes, the coverage may be nearly complete, for they are relatively few in number and resident, almost all, in the public sector. As a consequence, their budgets may be collected and published as a regular part of governmental statistical programmes.

Our data on the expenditures of public R&D institutes are presented in Tables 7.4 and 7.5. For Uganda, the institutes have been all in the agricultural sector; for the other countries they have operated in other sectors as well. The raw data in the first four columns of Table 7.4 are not very revealing, but the data in the second four columns of the Table, and in Table 7.5, are. Let us examine government expenditures on the R&D institutes in terms of constant prices (of 1987). Those for Ghana approximately doubled, in 1986/7, from their previous rate; those for Kenya seem to have doubled also in 1990/1 (although there is only one year's observation to support this statement); those for Tanzania have fluctuated without any noticeable trend; and those for Uganda were restored to respectable amounts in 1989/90. For three countries out of the four, therefore, in recent years increased public support, in terms of increased funds, has been afforded to the R&D institutes.

Table 7.5, in which total public expenditures are noted, places these increases in support for R&D institutes in perspective. The first four columns of the table list total government expenditures, the second four columns the percentages of these totals expended on the R&D institutes. Examining the trends within countries, the percentages are upwards, generally from one plateau to a higher one, the ascensions occurring in 1982/3 for Ghana, 1990/1 for Kenya, 1986/7 for Tanzania and 1988/9 for Uganda. The rises amounted to an approximate doubling in the cases of the first three countries, and a multiplication of roughly twenty-fold in the last. Comparing the figures across countries, on their higher plateaux, the differences appear to vary with the absolute level of GDP: Kenya is consistent across the years, allocating the largest percentage of its current government expenditures to its R&D institutes, Ghana the second largest, and Tanzania the third, and Uganda the smallest. This is an unsurprising result, holding generally across countries of similar sizes at all levels of GDP.

Table 7.6 gives us our first opportunity to extend our analysis beyond the four countries of our Sub-Saharan sample. For a few other countries comparable data are available on expenditures of R&D institutes; these data are divided into a first category, those appropriate for countries which, at the time the data were collected, were also undergoing Structural Adjustment, and a second category of countries, for those which were not undergoing Structural Adjustment. The observations are few and scattered, both geographically and chronologically, but they do yield much the same variety of behaviour as do the four countries in our sample. Looking at public expenditures per capita, UNESCO's sample of countries has generally higher figures than ours, although the range from lowest to highest is about the same (US$0.2 per capita to 6.4, compared to 0.05 to 1.15).

Table 7.4 Public expenditures on R&D institutes in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda (in units of the national currency, at current and constant prices) 1978/9-1991/2

Year Public expenditures on R&D institutes at current prices Public expenditures on R&D institutes, at constant prices of 1987
Ghana (millions of Cedis) Kenya (millions of KSh) Tanzania (millions of TSh) Uganda (millions of USh) Ghana (millions of Cedis) Kenya (millions of Ksh) Tanzania (millions of TSh) Uganda (millions of USh)
1978/9 14.7 n.a. n.a. n.a. 490 n.a. n.a. n.a.
1979/80 17.7 n.a. n.a. n.a. 430 n.a. n.a. n.a.
1980/1 19.1 n.a. n.a. n.a. 310 n.a. n.a. n.a.
1981/2 37.2 n.a. n.a. 0.022 340 n.a. n.a. 1.04
1982/3 53 n.a. n.a. 0.039 370 n.a. n.a. 1.34
1983/4 59 n.a. 40 0.051 300 n.a. 106 1.04
1984/5 123 n.a. 61 0.083 290 n.a. 134 0.65
1985/6 286 n.a. 76 0.187 560 n.a. 126 0.62
1986/7 760 253 155 0.702 1,070 266 204 0.70
1987/8 1,900 408 186 n.a. 1,900 408 186 n.a.
1988/9 1,400 512 200 125 1,050 471 148 27
1989/90 3,100 571 328 321 1,820 481 191 55
1990/1 2,500 782 328 486 1,120 595 158 55
1991/2 1,900+ n.a. 413 200 719+ n.a. 156 25

Expenditures of R&D institutes: Tables 3.15 (column 9); 4.16, 5.21, and 6.9
GDP deflator: Tables 3.1, 4.1, 5.1, and 6.1

Table 7.5 Total public current expenditures of Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, and the percentages claimed by public R&D institutes 1978/9-1991/2

Fiscal Year Total government current expenditures (billions in constant prices of 1987) Public expenditures of R&D institutes as % of total government current expenditure
Ghana (Cedis) Kenya (KSh) Tanzania (TSh) Uganda (USh) Ghana Kenya Tanzania Uganda
1978/9 84.3 12.0 31.5 14.3 0.58 n.a. n.a. n.a.
1979/80 85.0 19.4 30.6 8.90 0.51 n.a. n.a. n.a.
1980/1 65.2 20.0 25.0 5.60 0.47 n.a. n.a. n.a.
1981/2 58.0 20.0 22.4 7.04 0.58 n.a. n.a. 0.015
1982/3 35.0 25.0 23.0 16.4 1.09 n.a. n.a 0.008
1983/4 32.9 23.7 23.3 19.8 0.91 n.a. 0.45 0.005
1984/5 54.0 23.9 25.7 20.7 0.54 n.a. 0.52 0.003
1985/6 79.2 24.9 26.8 15.4 0.72 n.a. 0.47 0.004
1986/7 102 26.5 27.5 11.6 1.04 1.01 0.74 0.006
1987/8 111 30.0 25.0 8.0 1.71 1.36 0.74 n.a.
1988/9 118 31.5 22.6 10.4 0.92 1.49 0.66 0.27
1989/90 68 36.3 23.4 12.8 2.68 1.32 0.82 0.43
1990/1 74 31.1 23.8 17.9 1.51 1.92 0.66 0.31
1991/2 72 n.a. 35.5 40.0 1.00+ n.a. 0.44 0.068

Total Government Current Expenditures: Tables 3.8, (1978/9-1988/9, government current expenditure; 1989/90-1991/2, government consumption), 4,8,5.1, and 6.4, all converted to constant prices of 1987 by the GDP deflators in Tables 3.1, 4.1, 5.1 and 6.1
Total Public Expenditures of R&D Institutes: Table 7.4

Another, perhaps more revealing, way of comparing the different countries' expenditures on R&D is to place next to each other, in pairs, the local expenditure of one country undergoing Structural Adjustment and another, similar country, not undergoing Structural Adjustment. (This is the method of comparison used by Harrigan and Mosley, 1991, in their evaluation of the macro-economic effects of the World Bank's lending activities.) Of the four countries in our sample, we pair Ghana with Benin, Kenya with Nigeria, Tanzania with Gabon and Uganda with Burundi and Rwanda (taken together). If we make these pair-wise comparisons we find Ghana's own contributions to its R&D institutes are inferior to Benin's on grounds of both US dollars per capita and percentages of GDP, and Uganda's are inferior to the sum of Burundi's and Rwanda's on all three grounds represented in Table 7.6. Tanzania's contributions are only 10 per cent of those of Gabon in terms of US dollars per capita, but are greater in terms of percentage of GDP. Kenya's exceed Nigeria's on all three grounds. Thus, for two of the four countries in our own sample of countries undergoing Structural Adjustment, public expenditures on R&D are less, for one more, and for the final one intermediate, to expenditures of paired countries not undergoing Structural Adjustment. The comparisons seem to be so few and so diverse that we can draw no conclusions. Disappointed we must be at the paucity of results, but that is only a reflection of the paucity of data, in addition to those that we have collected. Perhaps there are other ways of presenting our aggregate data that will be more fruitful.

Government financing of advances in science and technology

R&D institutes are not the only public bodies advancing science and technology; educational bodies also fulfil that function. Let us now consider them as well. The data needed to determine whether or not government expenditures on advancing science and technology overall have changed, and if so, in which direction, have been retrieved from the individual country chapters, and collected in Table 7.7. The figures on expenditures on advancing science and technology are the sum of those spent by the governments on their own research institutes (but not those spent by the para-statals on theirs) plus those spent on scientific and technical education, primarily the budgets of the science and engineering faculties of the universities. These sums are then compared with total government expenditures and their ratios calculated.

Table 7.6 Comparision of expenditures, total and pa capita, on R&D institutes in African countries; averages of various years 1982-1991

Category of country Country Years of expenditurea Average annual public expenditure (millions of US dollars, at current prices) Average annual public expenditure per capita (US dollars, at current prices) Average annual public expenditure as % of GDP
Our sample Ghana 1983-1991 6.4 0.47 0.13
Kenya 1987-1991 24.7 1.15 0.31
Tanzania 1986-1991 2.7 0.12 0.08
Uganda 1988-1991 0.8 0.05 0.02
Other countries undergoingb structural adjustment Madegascar 1988 n.a. 0.9 0.4
Mauritius 1989 1.2 6.4 0.3
Countries not undergoingb structural adjustment Benin 1989 n.a. 2.3 0.7
Nigeria 1987 21.4 0.2 0.1
Gabon 1986 n.a. 1.1 0.0
Burundi and Rwanda 1989 and 1985 2.5 1.1 0.4

Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda: Tables 7.4 (Expenditures); 3.1, 4.1, 5.1 and 6.1 (exchange rates); and 3.2, 4.2, 5.2 and 6.2 (populations)
Others: UNESCO, 1990, Tables 5.10, and 5.19, and Appendix p. A-12 (exchange rates vs US$).
a: the initial years for Ghana and Tanzania are those chosen by the World Bank as the dates Structural Adjustment reforms began (Gulhati, 1988); for Tanzania (for which the World Bank set a date of 1980) the initial year is the first for which statistics on expenditures are available; and for Uganda the initial year is that in which foreign donations began to appear in substantial amounts
b: as of the date when UNESCO's data were gathered

Given the ten years for which we have data, the figures in the final four columns of Table 7.7 must be taken with some caution. Looking at the experience of Ghana, we find considerable fluctuations, between 0.8 and 5.8 per cent, for public expenditures on science and technology relative to the totals. Nonetheless Ghana's expenditures, on the average, exceed those of both Kenya and Tanzania, which are stable at approximately 2 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively. Uganda's public expenditures on science and technology are now reaching these percentages, after years of neglect. Looking at all four countries we can conclude that the expenditures in the different countries are now of the same order of magnitude (roughly 2 per cent per year of total government expenditures), and that the constraints placed upon government expenditures by the conditions inherent in the Structural Adjustment Programmes do not seem to have led to any further restrictions on public funds allocated to the pursuit of science and technology.

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