Former Nigerian president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia berated the exploits of African scientists in
America and Asia continents, lamenting that their efforts on global
horizon is fast regressing.
Obasanjo speaking while delivering
paper entitled: “The African Scientist In A Fast-Changing World”
presented at the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences in honour of Late
Professor Ali Al’Amin Mazrui, however, noted that on the aggregate,
African scientists have not been push-over over the ages.
disclosed that his choice of the topic was borne out of the fact that,
“since my friend, Ali Mazrui, was a Fellow of the African Academy of
Sciences and we are celebrating him at the Ethiopian Academy of
Sciences, I have decided to reflect with you today on “The African
Scientist in a Fast-Changing World,” Obasanjo revealed.
lamented that: “sadly today, the place of eminence of the African
scientist on the global horizon is fast regressing. In a fast-changing
world, we are getting far left behind. Our contribution to the science,
technology and engineering scholarly literature is the least of all
regions of the world.
“Our universities are at the bottom of
global league tables of world-class universities with the region having
the least number of Nobel Prize winners in science. Even, a good number
of our local problems are being solved by scientists from outside our
“Yet, we have some of the best intellectually-endowed
scientists in the world. The laboratories in Asia, Europe and North
America, where breakthroughs are achieved to drive our fast-changing
world, are populated in part by brain-drained African scientists,”
Balogun of Owu Kingdom observed the efforts of
United Kingdom in recent time, in science and technology, which
according to him, “could take the nation to world view.”
to him: “During the last two weeks, the fast-paced world of science and
technology reported the British government voting to allow a new
technique involving babies created from three people. If passed by the
House of Lords, the UK will become the first country in the world to
offer this medical procedure, which can be used to treat mitochondrial
“Other exciting things in the world of science in the
last two weeks include use of biodegradable nano particles to kill brain
cancer cells in animals and lengthen their survival and the selection
of 100 astronaut candidates for the Mars One project which will land
four people on Mars.
“New drugs to counter diabetes and
hypertension ravaging Africa and the rest of the world are in different
stages of development. The technology in surgery has also advanced in
recent months. Consider surgery when a patient is to get his or her
diseased heart, liver or spleen removed with minimal invasion through
new technologies being developed by biomedical engineers in the
University of London and at Harvard.
“By 2050, the scenario that
surgeons envisage is one where a patient with an organ failure walks
into a hospital, gets a 3-D printed organ to replace it in a few hours.
may be twenty years or more before these drugs and surgical techniques
become available for the masses. However, when they do, the health of
the people will be better secured than what we have today,” the former
Nigeria President posited.
Obasanjo further disclosed that, “this
situation notwithstanding, when we aggregate the efforts of the global
community of scientists through the ages, the African scientist has not
been a complete pushover.
“You will recall that some of the
well-known contributions of ancient African science include one of the
first intensive agricultural schemes; metallurgy, including the mining
and smelting of copper, practised in Africa as far back as 4000 B.C.;
and the system of hieroglyphic writing and the use of papyrus.
science of architecture also reached new heights with the pyramids.They
were amazing accomplishments both in terms of construction and the
mathematical and astronomical knowledge necessary to build and situate
them,” Ebora Owu as fondly called submitted.