Scientists decry low research use in Africa

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- African scientists participating in the Science and Technology Exhibition that started here Thursday have decried the slow progress made by African countries in the use of research and innovative technologies.
An official of the Nairobi-based African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Nancy Muchiri, said issues of policy, regulatory approvals for research and the use of the available technologies have been slow at the top.
"There is very little understanding about these technologies.
The African Union should educate policymakers and encourage investments especially in agriculture where we have an interest," Muchiri, AATF's Communication and Partnership Manager, told PANA.
The African Union (AU) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) jointly organized the science exhibition to showcase the relevance of scientific innovations in Africa's economic transformation.
"Our hope is that science and technology takes priority, but the programme is also crowded with political issues," Muchiri said.
The AATF says it has acquired crucial scientific research information to enable plant researchers in Africa protect the continent's indigenous food crops from disease attacks.
Muchiri said the AU Summit, convening here on 29-30 January should accelerate efforts to dedicate more financial resources to research, noting that while researchers were moving at speed to develop new disease-resistant crops, governments were slow in adopting them.
"The political leadership must move with speed," she urged.
The AU is seeking to prioritise science and technology as a means of accelerating economic development and eradicating poverty on the continent by soliciting appropriate technologies.
The two-day exhibition is aimed at helping the continental body achieve this goal.
AATF is exhibiting a new technology it has been working on to protect African cowpeas.

25 january 2007 17:26:00




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