The African Network of Scientific and Technological Institutions is a regional non-governmental organization (NGO) which was established in January 1980 by UNESCO with funding from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the German Government. The Network was conceived in response to the resolutions from the Conference of African Ministers of Science and Technology (CASTAFRICA) which was held in Dakar, Senegal, in January 1974. At that meeting, the African ministers present, urged UNESCO to help African Universities and research organizations engaged in training and research in science and technology to establish such linkages among themselves to enable them to pool their human and material resources and thereby contribute more effectively to the application of science and technology to development in Africa. ANSTI formally came into existence on 6 January 1980 which is the day the first Coordinator assumed office. The Network has its own constitution and operates as a regional NGO with a Pan-African Governing Council. UNESCO continues to provide financial and technical assistance to ANSTI. It is assigned the responsibility of coordinating the activity of ANSTI. In accordance with this arrangement, UNESCO in 1993 agreed to assign its Programme Specialist responsible for the Engineering Sciences in Africa, the additional responsibility of serving as a part-time Coordinator of ANSTI. The Network’s Secretariat is also housed in the UNESCO Nairobi office.
The mission of ANSTI is to facilitate the active collaboration among African Scientific Institutions for the purpose of training and research in science, engineering and technology.
The vision of ANSTI is to become a major institutional player in the process of human resource capacity building in Science, Engineering and Technology in Africa. The Network works to become the region's focal point for activities relating to human resource capacity building in Science and Technology (S&T).
The ultimate goal of ANSTI is to strengthen the regions capacity for training and research and for establishing services for intensive and purposeful utilization of Science, Engineering and Technology for development.