The Deputy Programmes Director of the Science for Africa Foundation, Dr. Alphonsus Neba has underscored the need for African governments to place research as a centre piece to ensure holistic development in their respective countries.
The call comes on the back of the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens(WACCBIP) at the University of Ghana holding its Annual Research Conference between July 26- July 29 ,2023.
The well attended and colourful Conference drew a large participation from across the globe and on the African continent to bring together world class scientific researchers , science research institutions and policy makers to deliberate on a variety of issues in the ever changing world of research.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Universnews, Dr Alphonsus Neba was of the view that even though African governments must be commended for setting up institutions of higher learning which expand the generation of knowledge across a broad spectrum including science based research, more resources and political will must be channeled into supporting cutting edge across various sectors of African economies to help enhance sustainable development which creates good economic potentials for all.
” African governments must be supportive of research in their various countries and take crucial steps to setup up funds which help young scientists across the continent to use their expertise to identify innovative solutions to the perennial problems which make it difficult to drive sustainable development on the continent.
Even though , governments on the continent deserve commendation for setting up institutions of higher learning to spread knowledge in various subject areas, lack of funding and political will to consistently pool resources to further expand the scope of research findings solving societal issues must be on the front burner of government plans if challenges with agricultural productivity and climate related issues ,poor medical facilities and treatment of illnesses can be tackled head on to lessen the burden on governments on the continent”.
Also, Dr Neba emphasized the need for African governments to establish partnerships with multinational finance institutions like the World Bank and private entities who are science biased to identify gaps in their countries and enacting legislation like tax waivers and incentive schemes to attract such development minded groupings to bring funds and skilled human resource to train local scientists to build capacity and use scientific innovations to solve age long problems that affect effective transformation of African countries.
” I want to use this platform to show the gratitude of myself and my organization to the World Bank and other science biased private funding organizations which contribute huge amounts of cash into setting up centres of excellence across low income countries globally of which Africa is included to enhance the capacity of local scientists to conduct world class research to solve challenges existing in their countries and serve as a reference point for other institutions on the continent similar to the sterling work , West African Centre For Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) right here in Ghana with much focus on the COVID-19 virus and its related matters”.
Governments can take a bold step to enact laws that waive taxes and duties on equipment and science infrastructure imported into the respective countries to help research centres delve deeper into critical analysis of in country issues and developing badly needed solutions to help ease the pressure on policymakers.
Data can be sought from such research institutions and private sector led initiatives who are dedicated to using innovative means to diagnose existing societal problems and get well thought through answers to shape public policy and serve as a means of attracting the best brains and organizations to push the frontiers of knowledge”.
Dr Alphonsus Neba serves as the Deputy Programmes Director of the Science for Africa Foundation which focuses on research and development on the African Continent.
A leader in Science Funding, Programme Management, Research Networks Oversight, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Policy, Advocacy, Gender, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Research Leadership Capacity Development.
Science for Africa Foundation (SFA Foundation) is a pan-African, not-for-profit, public charitable organisation created to support, strengthen, and promote science and innovation in Africa. SFA is committed to improving the quality of lives of African people and to promote the uptake of research in communities, industry, and the public sector.
The goal of the SFA Foundation is to address the continent’s most pressing developmental needs by generating knowledge that solves problems and informs decision-making. SFA serves the African research ecosystem by funding excellent research and innovation ideas; enabling interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers and building and reinforcing environments that are conducive for scientists to thrive and produce quality research that generates new, locally relevant knowledge.