Graham Haylor, Director
Scientists, technicians and their institutions across Africa encounter many common problems associated with scarce infrastructure. To enable the continent to pull together and efficiently use its human and infrastructural resources, the African Union (AU) Commission and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Office of Science and Technology Policy, aim to find new ways to facilitate infrastructure, promote networking and establish centres of excellence, so that through a combination of these efforts, scientific productivity and innovation may be significantly increased.
In line with this, IFS together with the African Academy of Sciences hosted a timely conference to consider the issues around Getting and Using Equipment for Scientific Research in Africa. The conference discussed access to critical scientific equipment, including procurement, servicing and maintenance. There were 87 participants from 13 countries across Africa attending the event; they contributed and heard presentations from:
In the IFS Briefing Document 1/2012 you can find more details and some captured key “learning” from the Nairobi conference.
» New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
I followed with great interest your comments related with Taking Equipment Seriously, addressing equipment challenges in development-related scientific research in Africa during the Getting and Using Equipment for Scientific Research in Africa: A Conference. I am sure that scientist from Africa are not only that suffer from the acquisition of equipment for science research on the third world. I am very happy that IFS is organizing this kind of meetings and I have testimony that IFS is very involved in the right way to resolve the different challenges on this address. I was beneficed by IFS support for my initial career on research.
The initiation of such a collaboration between the above organizations and the 'Getting and Using Equipment for Scientific Research in Africa' will go a long way in advancing scientific research in Africa, in time. Congratulations and best wishes to all involved! Is there place within the IFS framework for the establishment of a system for (1) laboratory inspection and accreditation within LDC science institutions, and (2) implementing laboratory training, equipment maintenance, and occupational health and safety programs? If incentives were made available to African-based scientists in these respects, this would go a long way in motivating domestic improvement. Any feeedback on these ideas?