Expert raises concern over neglect of science, research and development in Africa
Senior Outreach Manager, Africa Institute of Mathematical Science (AIMS), Samson Adotey has said that that science, research and technology are important not only for the economy, also for the government and its policies as well as the decision-making around Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Stressing this relevance, he said: “We need to rethink the value of science, research and development on the economy. We need more scientific advisers in government who provide government with the sound knowledge and insight into the importance of the science, and technology to the economy. We need government to reconsider how they engage the academia in decision-making around the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs).”
Adotey spoke on the application of mathematics, science and technology and research and development to solve problems in the economy and national development.
He emphasised that the AIMS was committed to raising; “a critical mass of young people, who are passionate about problem-solving with interest in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).”
He added that the AIMS offers programmes in MSC, MPhil and Phd as well as fellowship programmes to girls in mathematical science and teachers’ training.
All these are avenues to train young people in Africa to become dexterous in science, technology, research and development and mathematics, so that they can contribute to global projects as well as indigenous ones. Also highlighting, the area of inculcating Afrocentrism, excellence, integrity and the willingness to work in their young trainees.
He further recalled that under the colonial rule, Africa was alienated from the participation in the first, second and third industrial revolution. Thus, AIMS is relevant in ensuring that; “Africa is not a passive participant of the fourth industrial revolution.”
Further underlining the importance of science, research and development to Africa’s involvement in global projects, Adotey said that AIMS scientists developed an algorithm that helps countries test for COVID-19.
For this reason, Adotey urged African leaders to stay committed to the advancement of the science, research and technology sector, by providing infrastructure to African Universities and by contributing 1percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP), to give a new face to the initiative.
Africa runs deplete in areas that borders on science, research and development as the sector has been left derelict, by the inattention of African leaders.
Unarguably, science is crucial to national development and economic growth, as seen globally. However, in Africa, there is a conspicuous decline of interest to improve and to change the narrative with regards to science, research and development.