Africa has had a long relationship with science and technology dating back to the dawn of civilisation, with evidence suggesting the first use of tools and tool making being discovered there. And now in the 21st century they are still pushing the envelope of scientific research, but despite the rise in Arica’s economic power in recent years there still remains a lack of scientific independence amongst the African nations. However one man wants to change all this, Alvaro Sobrinho a philanthropist and business man is spearheading the way in Africa’s latest push towards scientific independence.
Business and Science
There is still a huge divide between the business communities and scientists in Africa, and this is leading to scientific and technical knowledge not keeping up with the economic boom which is happening on the continent. But by bringing together research, business and science, this can help build the solid foundations for an independent scientific Africa.
Now major players are getting involved such as IBM to bridge the gap between Business and science, creating the IBM-Research centre in Kenya with the aim to establish a resident science programme for businesses and schools in Kenya. Working closely with the government and industry leaders IBM researches work with the applicants in a real-time laboratory environment, these initiatives allow private businesses and companies to create a pipeline of talent amongst the locals for a more scientific and technological future.
Education and Science
Cash strapped universities across the African continent tend to cut funding into science and technical education in favour of social sciences, this in turn has created a higher education system not geared up for the scientific and technological industry’s but instead creating public sector workers. Or as Prof Calestous Juma of Harvard University puts it ‘Today’s African universities are factories that churn out civil servants.’
However many African leaders and governments are now realising this, and are now seeing education in science and technology as the way forward for a more independent scientific future. In a recent African Union summit the member country’s agreed on a target to spend 1% of its Gross domestic product (GDP) on education in the field of science, technology and research and development. With nations like Nigeria, where president Good Luck Jonathon approved a grant for $5 million to the academy of science, things are lucking positive for the future of science in Africa