The African countries are seeking to overcome a large number of obstacles to create a sustainable framework for growth and welfare. In addition, many African countries still lack sufficient resources to develop the knowledge and technology needed to combat poverty and promote the establishment of trade and industry.
Some of the African countries, however, are making great strides in these spheres. Moreover, they have access to resources, creativity, traditions, organisations and a flexibility that provide a solid foundation for comparative studies and research projects in many fields.
Recent decades have seen the emergence of widespread collaboration between Norwegian and African researchers in many fields. Traditionally, much of Norway's development cooperation research has centred on the African countries. Norwegian research into poverty prevention, global health problems, environmental issues and war and peace will maintain this focus over the next decade.
Companies, authorities and organisations are calling for more knowledge about African countries, particularly as regards issues relating to the environment, health, migration, petroleum and labour markets. Although research cooperation with Africa has been dominated by development issues, other potential areas of interest include environmental challenges in the Antarctic, business development in South Africa and cultural heritage, tradition and religion on the continent as a whole. It is a strategic challenge for the Research Council to further develop such collaborative projects in order to lay the foundations for enhancing quality and relevance in R&D, increasing the knowledge-base for Norwegian policies and promoting broad-based internationalisation of Norwegian research.
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