To his credit, former South African president Thabo Mbeki set up anti-corruption institutions that survived his own efforts to erode them.
The institutional design of BRIN allows for political intervention, showing how the Indonesian government is unwilling to prioritise research and technology.
The first of a series of fatal flaws in the idea is about where to draw the line.
Corruption has been a constant feature of South African political life for much of the past 350 years; solutions will also take time.
With the right leadership, mindset and policies African countries can achieve, even exceed, the growth and development successes of Asian counterparts.