Is science the answer to poverty?

By mahlokoane percy ngwato

Follow @AfricaBizReview on Twitter.

The President of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) Daya Reddy has highlighted that science academies across the continent have the opportunity to play a key role in the fight to end poverty.  

The Academy was established in 1996 with a goal to provide evidence based solutions challenges at both a local and international level.

Reddy noted however, that whilst the global average of researchers per million people is 1,000, in Sub-Saharan Africa this number is just 80. He also highlighted that the continent faces a massive brain drain, with talented scientists emigrating to where the best facilities and money could be found.

The potentially crucial role that scientists can play in solving majo global problems was highlighted at a conference Johannesburg in May, co-hosted by the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA).

Reddy himself addressed the conference, he said: “Given the nature and complexity of the problems that we face, it is essential that these problems be approached in a multi-sectoral and transdisciplinary way with healthy collaboration.”

In the past 15 years global poverty had halved from 50 percent to 22 percent, although the rate for Africa had dropped from 56 percent to 48 percent, with the amount of undernourished people having declined to 14 percent.

The draft Sustainable Development Goals being developed had 169 targets, with poverty alleviation making up a key part of these targets. Across Africa there are some 20 academies representing roughly 2,000 scientists; most of these are organised on a continental level under the Network of African Science Academies.

Whilst great progress has been made in reducing poverty, there is a consensus amongst scientists, businessmen, and politicians that technology and money do not simply equal development. Changes, however small or incremental, must be made to the way societies function in order for scientific developments to be fully utilised and for development goals to be fully realised. 

Share

Featured Articles

Meet the COO: Brook Sims of MAC Diversity Recruiters

Passionate about helping others find their voice, diversity leader and COO Brook Sims talks powerful leadership, diverse teams and being a change agent

Best business books to improve leadership strategy

From strategic guides to inspiring CEO memoirs, these new books dish up plenty of principles, strategies, and anecdotes to help you become a better leader

Shoplazza founder and CEO Jeff Li, ex Baidu, on leadership

Named in Fortune China’s 40 under 40 for 2022, former Baidu head Jeff Li is the entrepreneurial founder and CEO of ecommerce platform Shoplazza

The office shifts to new way of working – workplace special

Leadership & Strategy

Trailblazer: Clorox's DEI leader Shanique Bonelli-Moore

Sustainability

The inspirational CEO story – Dean Forbes of Forterro

Leadership & Strategy