This paper explores the possible links between civil society and support for science and technology in Africa. Civil society represents an exceptionally complex arena and the interests of civil society are not necessarily aligned with technological development. Donor assistance needs to support civil society development in Africa to maximise the growth of science and technology. This includes supporting viable producer organisations and qualified NGOs and investing in institutions such as markets and professional associations. Attention is also required for appropriate policies, including support to public-private partnerships, the development of responsive regulatory frameworks and attention to information provision.