Canadian and British research investments pay off for Africa

Research is allowing African farmers to overcome old problems and exploit new opportunities. The debate is raging on as to how best Africa can set itself on the road to growth and renewal, and whether blanket debt relief for all African countries is the best solution. African leaders recognise that agriculture is Africa’s engine for growth, and that there is a need to take a long-term view and build science and technology capacity within Africa to help Africans solve Africa’s problems. Top African scientist and Harvard Professor, Calestous Juma, speaking to BBC yesterday (7 July) said: “If all the aid from Live 8 was spent on agricultural colleges rather than relief, Ethiopia would not be in difficulties today.” “Helping to build scientific expertise will do for Africa what the invention of the electric guitar did for Bob Geldof.” Dr Carlos Seré, Director General of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), said “I would urge that there is greater emphasis on building science and technology capacity in Africa. Agricultural research in Africa is producing robust returns of 35% and changing the lives of millions of Africans. Money wisely invested in science – building expertise in Africa for African problems – will reap long-term benefits that will help millions of poor people in Africa secure better health, education, and livelihoods.” See below ILRI’s feature “Canadian and British Research Investments Pay Off for Africa” published in The Herald (Scotland), Friday 14 July 2005 (.p15).


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