Donald Houessou 

PhD Candidate at Athena Institute, Vrije University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The African continent is at a crossroad of its transformation where the world is facing, at the same time, the five big challenges: population growth, urbanization, climate change, food security and health. This calls for, not only, urgent, but also integrated actions to help the continent achieve its development goals in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, private sector, civil society and people. Hence, this requires a strong background of diversified knowledge for development.

Knowledge is any piece of information which has been applied in a specific context and has generated a result, whether positive or negative. In that sense, knowledge is key to tackle the above-mentioned challenges and achieve the transformation of Africa. This requires that knowledge is acquired, applied, capitalized, shared, replicated and re-formulated in order to facilitate its consistency in varied contexts. It is only in that way that African continent can evolve from its current state and achieve great successes as expected worldwide. For instance, specific countries, like Rwanda, Ile Maurice, etc., on the continent are already taking steps on generated knowledge to socioeconomically progress, which shows the power of knowledge. This example demonstrates the need for researchers to go deep into their analysis to suggest evidence-based recommendations to policies. In addition, the private sector is expected to leverage the potential of knowledge to advance businesses and create wealth and jobs in the countries. Finally, African people are crucial to all these processes of knowledge generation, utilization and dissemination to make the development of Africa, a reality.