Media challenged to promote local scientific innovations

01Sep 2018
Mtapa Wilson
The Guardian
Media challenged to promote local scientific innovations

PRESIDENT of the Tanzania Academy of Science Professor Esther Mwaikambo has urged the media to promote local innovations which could contribute to industrial development.

PRESIDENT of the Tanzania Academy of Science Professor Esther Mwaikambo.

The don made the call earlier this week during the World Academy of Science (TWAS) research grants conference held in Dar es salaam aimed at building skills for science in Africa.

She said scientific innovations could be useful once young scientists are given the opportunity to showcase their innovations and discoveries.

“This will enable the general public to be attentive and acknowledge local innovation,” she said.

According to her, creating public awareness was crucial if innovations were to be promoted and drive key sectors of the economy including agriculture and industry.

Organized by TWAS with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the grants conference research supports sustainable development through research, education, science policy and science diplomacy.

SIDA also builds basic science capacity at universities and research centres where scientists are working to improve health and food production, protecting water supplies and supporting innovation in manufacturing.

For his part, TWAS programme coordinator Max Paoli said there were extraordinary elements that gave the first regional research grants conference a huge and unprecedented scientific value.

He said TWA will provide African scientists with tools to increase competitiveness, shape their skills and improve their scientific outcomes and networking abilities. 

According to him, countries that get the support are those listed as Least Developed Countries under the UN and include Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Niger and Tanzania.

A biomedical scientist from Angola and 2018 TWAS grant recipient Zoraima Neto said her expectations were to know more about TWAS and its programmes, especially about important issues like writing proposals and publishing scientific papers, a sector which had no room in Angola.

The TWAS research grants conference hosted 28 past TWAS research grant winners from 17 African countries.  The conference also exposed African participants to a networking exercise, devised to stimulate adoption of innovative perspectives in the important process of building new collaborations.

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