Uganda Science Festival . African approaches against tropical diseases.
Listen to Dr Patrick Ogwang on BBC World Service, London Focus on Africa (radio) on Mar 28 3.30-5-30PM
Dear Moussa. Thank you very much for the opportunity to discuss science in Africa. I strongly believe that Africa must set her science agenda if we are to benefit from science. Why? For the following reasons;
1. Currently almost 99% of scientific research works going on in Africa was initiated by non African scientists and the countries that fund the researchers. The research goals and proposals are set and developed in other countries and only brought to Africa for implementation. As a result our scientists even senior professors are simply data collectors. This is because the data is collected by African scientists but transmitted to American and European scientists who analyse and utilise the core findings. This can be seen from the fact that though scientific research has been going on for decades in Africa, Africa has almost no scientific innovation to show.
2. African governments actually can fund their own scientific research if we can only put our priorities right. The case in point is Uganda. About 5 years ago our president Y.K Museveni initiated a programme called Presidential Initiative to Support Scientists. He directed the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to give funding to scientists who had innovative ideas but lacked funding. As a result Uganda can now begin boast about a number of innovative products which include; an electric car, Malaria prevention beverage from natural product called- ARTAVOL which is taken as taken in tea and staves off malaria and several other products are in line to solve problems in Africa.
There is therefore more than enough money to support scientific works in Africa as evidenced by the effort of the president of the Republic of Uganda. Africa can and should set her science agenda.
Ogwang Patrick Engeu
Pharmacist/Pharmacolgist Natural Chemotherapeutics Research Institute
Ministry of Health P.Box 4864 Kampala Uganda