Sunday, November 10, 2013

WB Official Faults Africa Scientists over Appalling Deprivation

Francis Npong. Yaoude, Cameroon- The World Bank (WB) Senior Economist Dr. Hippolyte Fofack has blamed Africa deprivation, worsening socio-economic and inequality on the regional scientists.

According to him, the relevance of Africa science to the development of the continent was in doubt and research findings questionable.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Enquirer during the just ended climate change adaptation workshop held in Yaounde, Cameroon, a Senior Economist at the World Bank Dr. Hippolyte Fofack categorically said he does not see and recognize the revelance of Africa science to the socio-economic development of the region.

He said that scientists in Africa were concentrating so much on their personal academic achievements rather than working to change the appalling situation of deprivation the people in Africa were facing with.

"Materials for the majority of vaccines and drugs were taken from the continent by the European scientists. It is about time scientists here thought about the solution based researches",  he said.

He observed that, there was a total disconnect  between science academies and the people on the continent adding that Africa science has been reduced to publishing of journals for academic achievements rather than finding solutions to the prevailing problems on the continent.
"No research by Africa scientists has proven to be a solution to any of the existing problems", he said.

The World Bank official said that in the wake of climate change the prevailing problems in Africa would worsen and would need solution based scientific research to help in adaptation processess.

Dr. Fofack stressed that the meraid of socio -economic, health and widening  inequilities on the region existed because of the inabilities of the regional scientists to conduct relevance scientific research and propose practical solutions to the identified problems. "Nobody should be developing malaria drugs for Africa but it is sad that this is happening", he bemoaned.

He expressed his disappointment an dissatisfaction to the activities of Africa scientists saying "their science activities have not helped the region out of any of its problems.

"Most of the scientific findings done by scientists in Africa are mostly literature reviews. They dont proposed practical solutions to the problems in the region", he said.

He said climate change would worsens the regional situations if nothing is done.

Dr. Fofack who early addressed Africa scientists as a gust speaker also blamed the region's deprivation on poor resource management and utilization and bad governance.

But Professor Ralp Mills Tetteh, the Honory Secretary of the Ghana Academy of Art and Sciences disagreed with Dr. Fofack assertion that Africa science was irrelevant.

He said that Africa scientists luck necessary financial and political support to act effectively. He said the science academies have a lot in stock but luck political support to implement most of their research findings.

Prof. Mills Tetteh said the relevance of Africa science would be visible if they get support from the political leadership.
He urged effective collaboration between the scientific community and political leadership in Africa to push for solution to some of prevailing situations.

The workshop which was organised by the Network of Africa Science Academies (NASAC) was to draft a climate change adaptation policy guide for policy makers in Africa.

It was also to encourage science academies in Africa to work togather to find lasting and practicable ways for Africa adaptation to the impact of climate change on livelihoods.

This is aimed to reduce the vulnerability of the continent to the effects of climate change.

The programme Coordinator of NASAC Madam Jackie Olang said NASAC was formed to bring togather research and science academies for a coordinated and collaborated efforts to find lasting solution to some of the problems in Africa using scientific means.

She explained that the workshop was aimed to share scientific information and ideas about adaptation to the expected change of climate in Africa.

It was also to identify science based recommendations o climate change adaptation strategies for policy makers, determine the role of science academies in the development of climate change adaptation strategies and to foster the exchange between African and other scientists working in the area of climate change.

She said climate change impact on the poor continent would be greatly felt that it needs urgent attention and collaborative efforts from policy makers and scientific communities to deal with it.

The workshop that brought science academies, research institutions and universities from across Africa also discussed how to improve food securities and increase resilience. The workshop was funded by the German ministry of Education.

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