A new dawn for science in Africa

Science in Africa
Science in Africa

A few years ago, Science and Nature magazines talked about scientific cooperation between the first and third world. Later, the talk morphed to letting third world scientists have more say in topics chosen.

Now Mohamed Hassan, head of TWAS (Academy of Sciences for the Developing World) has authored an editorial in the June 29 Science describing shifts in African investments in science and technology in Africa.

Rwanda is now spending 1.6% of its GDP, and wants to increase this to 3% within 5 years.

Nigeria plans a national science foundation.

Uganda and Zambia, with loans from the World Bank and African Development fund, will fund research and postgraduate students.

South Africa woman of the year 2004
South Africa woman of the year 2004, science and technology category

South-south cooperation has helped this to occur. Brazil, China and India have increased their own science programs, and are now helping fund research in Africa. China has invested $5 billion in Development Fund for Africa to help countries meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Brazil supports science and technology programs in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in (Portuguese-speaking) Mozambique and Angola. India and Brazil are (surprise!) working on biofuels projects with Africans.

international journal covering all African waters
international journal covering all African waters

See Hassan’s plenary presentation to the 2007 American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Also check out the Africa Science blog.

African countries cannot afford political interference in science (nor can any of us). Perhaps 900 South Africans die daily from AIDS-related illnesses.

Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge
Deputy Health Minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge was fired by President Mbeki because she was not a good team player with someone who advocates treating AIDS with garlic.

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