The first female Mauritious leader, President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, has stressed the need for Africa to Invest In local science and research.
Prior to her office as president, the science enthusiast has been in the field of research. Thus she knows the perks Africa could benefit from if they pay more attention to research and scientific studies.
President Ameenah is a leading face in developing African science and research. Already the brilliant president and biodiversity scientist, has written over 28 scientific books with international purchases and acknowledgements.
She holds an honorary doctorate from Pierre and Marie Curie University (Sorbonne). She is also an honorary professor at Pretoria’s University of South Africa (UNISA).
As a business leader and former director of the Mauritius-based Centre for Phytotherapy Research, she has conducted several researches on plants used in nutrition, cosmetics and therapy.
According to the first female professor at the University of Mauritius, the Ebola outbreak sadly showed the disparity between standard research and what is obtainable in Africa.
“The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa highlighted the disconnect between policy and research. It revealed the absence of strong and credible institutions, the lack of trained doctors and nurses and the outdated and underdeveloped medical and research systems.”
President Ameenah also mentioned the hazardous effects of having insufficient clinical scientists, epidemiologists and diagnostics laboratories in African communities.
She also pointed out that ignorance has made us suffer from the effects of climate change. This is because Africa has a whole “contributed below 3 percent of the planet’s carbon dioxide emissions from energy and industrial sources.”
With the lack of these scientific facilities, many talented Africans who are skilled in research and sciences, travel out to developed countries where they will be relevant. In other words, lack of these facilities largely leads to brain drain.
“It is tough for African scientists who have chosen to stay behind. They are forever fighting to secure funding to further their ideas and research activities.”
President Ameenah implores African governments to create an enabling environment to avert the “drain of talents”. Mauritius for instance has come up with policies that could favor the return of these talents. The country has endorsed a “10-year tax holiday for those who return”.
Going further on, the smart President presented the tendency of basing Africa’s health priorities outside the continent. With the effect that attention is given to popular disease; thereby ignoring the tropical ones which may be even more dangerous.
Finally, Mauritius President announced the launch of Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Africa (AESA). She says that the AESA initiative will help in training up standard scientists in Africa for Africa.
The concept is backed by such international bodies as U.K. Department for International Development, Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.