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The current state of OR in Africa

Hans W. Ittmann ()
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Hans W. Ittmann: University of Johannesburg

Operational Research, 2021, vol. 21, issue 3, No 15, 1793-1825

Abstract: Abstract All the efforts over the last 20 years, by both the International Federation of Operations Research Societies and The Association of European Operational Research Societies (EURO), to promote operations research in Africa have not delivered the desired results. Of the 54 countries in Africa only four are at present members of IFORS with another five that are associated with a formal operations research society. Nevertheless, Africa remains a fertile ground for operations research in many respects. The discipline is ideally suited for addressing many of the multitudes of complex problems facing the continent. In addition, there are countries where academic institutions are offering operations research courses in their curriculum resulting in a growing number of graduates that are familiar with operations research. It should thus be feasible for these graduates and the academics, in the respective countries, to establish operations research societies. This paper endeavours to get a sense of what the current state is of operations research in the continent. From this it is possible to identify countries where there are more than enough activities to justify the establishment of formal professional operations research societies. It is concluded that the current four IFORS member societies can be extended to twenty over the next 3–5 years. The recent establishment of the African Federation of Operational Research Societies has been a major step towards achieving this goal and growth as well as promoting the use of operations research.

Keywords: Developing countries; History of OR; Emerging application of OR; OR in africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s12351-019-00516-x

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