Africa Needs Appropriate Technologies

| June 22, 2016

President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama has urged scientists from developing countries to adapt and develop technologies that are appropriate to their circumstances instead of mirroring the developmental path of developed countries.

Officially opening the 10th general assembly of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) in Kasane on June 21, President Khama said development in Africa required modern agriculture, industrial structures and systems as well as education.

"In this regard, we expect to see more patents coming out of the continent in line with most of our natural resources," he said.

He underscored the need to do research to help advance humanity and not necessarily the money and returns derived from such.

Botswana recently launched its Academy of Science (BAS), which President Khama acknowledged as a welcome development in the country's science and technology landscape and a testimony of the government's commitment to work with scientists to generate evidence-based policy-making.

President Khama acknowledged that research and development was an expensive undertaking, resulting in funding constraints especially for those from developing countries.

"Nonetheless, coming from a developing country should not be a disadvantage, we should look at the silver lining with the contemporary communications tools of ICT, you are probably able to leapfrog some of the developmental stages and trajectory taken by those in developed countries," he said.

Furthermore, he said they were able to research in conjunction with colleagues in other countries in real time through visual presence thousands of kilometres away.

The conference was graced by not only established fellows, but younger personalities under 40 known as affiliates.

To this end, President Khama noted that he hoped young people from Botswana could also get a similar opportunity to be mentored by senior fellows.

"Attracting women to science has become a major priority globally and to many governments on the continent including us here in Botswana," he noted.

He applauded the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) platform, which required that grants recipients actively recruit women in science.

President Khama said academies were vehicles through which Africans could provide solutions faced by their countries instead of relying on other nations to solve their problems for them.

Meanwhile, Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Mr Nonofo Molefhi called for continuous investment in science development with the aim to industrialise Africa.

"Africa's industrialisation plan can only materialise with the involvement of scientists as key stakeholders through adequately resourced research work," he said.

President Khama was bestowed an honorary fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) at the conference, which brought together scientists from across Africa.

Source: Botswana Daily News


Category: Technology

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