The share of Africa’s contribution to scientific knowledge has greatly increased in recent years. One estimate puts the increase at 7.6 per cent currently, with science publications having increased from two to 20 times over the past 19 years in most African countries. Still, at only 7.6 per cent, the contribution is not nearly enough. One way to improve output would be through the collaborative approaches of Open Science. “Open Science” or “Open Research” describes an open data ecosystem, where data and research methods are shared without restriction to improve scientific output and has been gaining ascendance across the continent, including in East Africa. In May last year, the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO) announced a collaborative initiative with the support of partners to implement Open Science and Open Access principles for EAC Partner States Countries in the region already rank among the ten highest scientific-productive nations in the continent, and the EASTECO open science initiative can only be a boon – a boon because science, technology and innovation (STI) are essential in driving economic development, and because it will complement the Commission’s peer-reviewed and open-access journal (EAJSTI) that is already making a mark in the region. EASTECO has just concluded the implementation of its first Strategic Plan (2017–22) and, as it charts its next 5-year plan, it will require better regional political and financial support to build on and surpass its current achievements. Adequate support is necessary, noting especially that one of the Commission’s main aims is to support sustainable production of goods and services and enhance EAC’s economic competitiveness. The necessary infrastructure to enable achievement of this aim is already in place. One, therefore, hopes it is not true that, as the Commission’s website suggests, the East African Regional Policy for Science, Technology and Innovation which was validated in 2019 is still awaiting approval by the EAC Council of Ministers. Perhaps the website needs updating, but if it is true about the pending approval, it amounts to dereliction of duty and is symptomatic of a broader regional problem. Take funding the Commission, for example, which, it might be argued, is a more concrete indicator of adequate official support. We know that the EAC has its financial issues and that some of its member states don’t always seem to pull their weight with timely contributions to the kitty. This tends to compromise EAC operations. Still, an annual budget is debated and passed by the East African Legislative Assembly every year, making the real issue perhaps one of how budget priorities are set. The 2022/2023 Budget amounted to a total of about US$117,579,215 and was allocated to 10 or so EAC Organs and Institutions. The amount allocated to EASTECO comes to US$1,725,256. This amounts to just below 1.5 per cent of the total EAC for this financial year. It is doubtful this amount can be adequate if it caters for all of the Commission’s needs, including administration costs and other organisational activities besides research and development (R&D). This is an issue that requires policymakers to look into, spurred on by lobbying by EASTECO and institutions such as the East African Business Council. Inadequate funding, however, is not only an EAC issue but is continent-wide where in 2022, for instance, the gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD) in Africa represented only 1.1 per cent of the total GERD worldwide. And, talking about the continent, it makes quite a statement that only two countries, South Africa in Sub-Saharan Africa and Egypt in North Africa, produce about half of the total science publications in Africa, leaving the remaining half to be shared by 52 other countries. This means individual countries need to up their scientific game, including through regional institutions such as EASTECO whose very raison d’être is a function of the national and regional political economy. EASTECO was established as a semi-autonomous institution of the EAC at the 2007 Extraordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State. The Commission is the main regional agency through which Partner States develop and implement common science and technology policies, programmes and projects in priority areas including collaborative research, technology development, innovation and human resources development. The Kigali-based institution aims to support sustainable production of goods and services and to enhance economic competitiveness of the region. One of its accomplishments includes establishment of the EAC Network of Industrial Technologies and Research Organisation (EANITRO) that aims to contribute towards the development of regional industrialisation. Other than funding, other previously identified challenges slowing implementation of effective STI policies include lack of up-to-date, reliable data and lack of indicators and support mechanisms for innovation. These are critical issues that national and regional policymakers ought to look into.