Over the years, the science and applications of nanotechnology have developed at a faster pace across various disciplines and sectors. The technology is increasingly found in many commercial products from mobile phones and cosmetics to pharmaceutical and robotics. The technology holds great promise for the development of new treatments for a wide range of diseases. It is increasingly recognized as a platform technology that could play an important role in the efforts of African countries to achieve the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and realize the Aspirations of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
The African Union recognizes nanotechnology as a compelling imperative and identifies nanotechnology as one of six priority areas in its Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA-2024). Recognizing the promise of nanotechnology for their development, many countries have set up nanotechnology centres to undertake research in various areas of possible application. However, despite its potential, very few African countries have articulated a national nanotechnology policy. This lack of policy urgency has considerably slowed the development and application of nanotechnology on the continent.