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TWAS Newsletter
The Academy's quarterly magazine. Download PDF files of individual…

A new list of TWAS target countries

A new list of TWAS target countries

For a decade, key TWAS programmes focused on 81 S&T-lagging countries. Now the list has been reduced to 66 countries, reflecting significant change in global development patterns.

Following scientific advances in some parts of the developing world, TWAS is moving to intensify some key initiatives to focus on 66 countries where science and technology are significantly lagging.

The immediate effect of new policy will be to reserve many TWAS research grants for scientists from those 66 countries. Similarly, all PhD fellowships offered by the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) will be reserved for scientists in these countries.

"Over the past three decades, TWAS has worked with many partners and allies to advance scientific progress in the developing world," said TWAS interim Executive Director Mohamed Hassan. "Though progress has been great, it has also been uneven. It is important now that we focus on scientists in those countries where the needs are greatest and most urgent."

The new TWAS list includes the 47 Least Developed Countries identified by the United Nations, plus countries selected because of their low income levels and specific needs for support in building research capacity.

The new list will help assure that TWAS resources are offered where the needs are greatest. Of 66 total countries on the TWAS list, 39 are in sub-Saharan Africa; 15 are in the Asia and Pacific region; seven are in the Latin America-Caribbean region; and five are in the Arab region.

Beginning in 2007, key TWAS programmes targeted 81 countries listed as S&T-lagging. The new, shorter list reflects the patterns of scientific development in the South. Some countries have achieved signficant progress in the past decade, but others – many of them profoundly poor – are struggling to keep pace.

Experts in science and development have noted the widening science gap between emerging countries and those that remain locked in poverty. TWAS leaders have commited to initiatives that will help to close the gap.

The new list will affect two programmes in particular:

  • TWAS Research Grants funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). However, TWAS research grants funded by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) will not change.
  • The OWSD Postgraduate Fellowships. The Sida-funded programme typically offers more than 30 fellowships per year for PhD studies at a centre of excellence in the South.

In all, 20 countries moved off of the old TWAS S&T-lagging list. Five countries were added onto the new list: Bolivia, the Palestinian Autonomous Territories, Sri Lanka, Swaziland and Syria.


  1. Afghanistan
  2. Angola
  3. Bangladesh
  4. Benin
  5. Bhutan
  6. Bolivia
  7. Burkina Faso
  8. Burundi
  9. Cambodia
  10. Cameroon
  11. Central African Repl
  12. Chad
  13. Comoros
  14. Congo
  15. Côte d’Ivoire
  16. Dem Rep. Congo
  17. Djibouti
  1. El Salvador
  2. Equatorial Guinea
  3. Eritrea
  4. Ethiopia
  5. Gambia
  6. Ghana
  7. Guatemala
  8. Guinea
  9. Guinea-Bissau
  10. Haiti
  11. Honduras
  12. Kenya
  13. Kiribati
  14. Lao People’s Dem Rep
  15. Lesotho
  16. Liberia
  17. Madagascar
  1. Malawi
  2. Mali
  3. Mauritania
  4. Mongolia
  5. Mozambique
  6. Myanmar
  7. Nepal
  8. Nicaragua
  9. Niger
  10. Palestine (West Bank and Gaza Strip)
  11. Paraguay
  12. Rwanda
  13. Sao Tome and Principe
  14. Senegal
  15. Sierra Leone
  16. Solomon Islands
  1. Somalia
  2. South Sudan
  3. Sri Lanka
  4. Sudan
  5. Swaziland
  6. Syrian Arab Republic
  7. Tajikistan
  8. Tanzania
  9. Timor-Leste
  10. Togo
  11. Tuvalu
  12. Uganda
  13. Vanuatu
  14. Yemen
  15. Zambia
  16. Zimbabwe


Edward W. Lempinen