Neo-colonialism and research collaboration in Central Africa


The study examines aspects of both neo-colonial ties and neo-colonial science in research papers produced by Central African countries. The primary focus is on the extent and pattern of neo-colonial ties and other foreign participation in the co-authorship of Central African research papers. The analysis revealed that 80% of Central Africa’s research papers are produced in collaboration with a partner from outside the region. Moreover, 46% of papers are produced in collaboration with European countries as the only partner, and 35% in collaboration with past colonial rulers. The top collaborating countries are France (32%), the USA (14%), and the UK and Germany (both 12%). Foreign powers also facilitate the production of regionally and continentally co-authored papers in Central Africa, where European countries participate in 77% of regionally co-authored papers.

The practice of neo-colonial science, on the other hand, features in a survey of reprint authors of Cameroonian papers. The survey investigated specific contributions made by Cameroon coauthors to the research processes underlying a paper. Cameroonian researchers contribute intellectually and conceptually to the production of research papers, irrespective of whether the collaboration involves partners from past colonial or non-colonial countries. Their most frequent role in collaborative research with foreign researchers remains the conduct of fieldwork.

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Correspondence to Nelius Boshoff.

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Boshoff, N. Neo-colonialism and research collaboration in Central Africa. Scientometrics 81, 413 (2009).

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  • Research Collaboration
  • Gross National Product
  • Colonial Power
  • Research Capacity Strengthen
  • Foreign Participation