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Science Engineering, Technology Training, and the African Renaissance Prof. Shem. O. Wandiga Department of Chemistry College of Biological and Physical.

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Presentation on theme: "Science Engineering, Technology Training, and the African Renaissance Prof. Shem. O. Wandiga Department of Chemistry College of Biological and Physical."— Presentation transcript:

1 Science Engineering, Technology Training, and the African Renaissance Prof. Shem. O. Wandiga Department of Chemistry College of Biological and Physical Sciences University of Nairobi P.O. Box 30197-00100 Nairobi, Kenya E-mail:;

2 Vision of Renaissance: Pillars of African Renaissance Building on success Science Technology and Innovation Social cohesionDemocracy Africa plays important role in International affairs Economic rebuilding and growth

3 What Role Science Technology and Innovation play in Vision achievement? But I ask you to consider, if we are to realize the rebirth of Africa, taking its place at the forefront of Arts, Science and Technology - as is required of a true Renaissance movement: what opportunities can be harnessed for Africa in this? And how the foreseeable risks may be assessed, contained and hopefully eliminated. Dr. Sheila Ochogboju asks?

4 Renaissance Building Blocks Science Technology and Innovation form the foundation stone for Africas Renaissance Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) will be central in the socio-economic transformation of the continent. Progress in social and economic activities is principally achieved through the advancement of knowledge. Universities have the capability of effective creation, dissemination and application of knowledge, training and retaining technical and professional capacity.

5 Investment in Knowledge Management Opens Doors to: Rapid socio-economic development Resolution to the following problems: -Food security -Better health standards -Water supply -Sustainable energy and -Cleaner environment

6 Upgrading of Training programmes Training programmes in Africa cannot play the catching up game but must be reorganized to take major knowledge quantum jumps to the leading frontiers of economic activities. In addition to strengthening the quality and relevance of academic programmes time is opportune to introduce new methods of mobilising national research talent in the academic, private and public sectors and apply it to the task of developing the economy and improving the quality of life of the citizens.

7 Africas Challenges: Climate/Global Environment Change Clean Water Food Security Better Health Social Cohesion, Peace and Secure Borders/Neighborhoods Transport and Communication Energy, etc.

8 Causes El Niño / LA Ni ña Climate related Hazards / Exposures DROUGHTS AND FLOODS COMON IN AFRICA Hail&Lightning Avalanches Flash floods Tornadoes Wildland fires & haze Hot & cold spells Heavy precipitations (rain or snow) Droughts Storm surges Storm (winds) River basin flooding Mud & landslides Ice Storms Tropical cyclones Dust storms

9 Many socio-economic sectors in Africa are Climate- sensitive including agriculture, water resources, food security, health, and livelihoods.


11 Floods often follow or precede droughts

12 AFRICA IS THE MOST VULNERABLE CONTINENT OF THE GLOBE Africa will experienc e severe impacts due to climate change and climate variability + Africa has the lowest capacity to Adapt to Projected Climate Change = AFRICAISTHE MOST VULNERABLE CONTINENT OFTHEGLOBE

13 Universities are Drivers and Centres of Societal Change The Department of Botany at the University of São Paulo and the University of Campinas in Brazil house the latest gene sequencing equipment and analyser and the advanced computing facilities. The two institutions joined forces with 200 researchers from 34 laboratories throughout São Paulo state to crack the genetic code of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa which has decimated vineyards in Southern California. The centre received world recognition when they published in the leading journal Nature the analysis of a Xylella strain that attack orange trees. Their initial funding for this work came from the City of São Paulo which sets aside 2% of its income for research. Under a unique project, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the American Vineyard Foundation contracted them to find a solution to their problem (The World Bank, 2002).

14 Drivers and Centres of Change contd. The Centre for Advanced Software and Intelligent Systems at the University of Wales Aberystwyth and the Computer Science Department at Cardiff University provide a complete software-lifecycle facility involving problem analysis, specification, design, development and implementation of bespoke solutions and software innovation, development and exploitation for engineering, science, business, commerce and industry. Training courses are developed and delivered using the staffs extensive expertise in these areas. The Centre has combined forces with a supermarket to produce iconic tiles no longer in production for the market. The project promoter did the market survey and as soon as the tiles were produced there was ready market demand for it.

15 Centres of Excellence Innovation centresCentres of Excellence are Innovation centres Innovation is defined as the process through which new economic and social benefits are extracted from knowledge. Africa, except for South Africa which has recently established six such centres, has very few such centres at African Universities. The established National Centres of Excellence scheme create the scale and focus necessary to maintain and develop a countrys international standing in its areas of research priority. They conduct highly innovative research that addresses challenging and significant problems within the priority areas. The centres build national research capabilities and produce outcomes of economic, social and cultural benefit to a country.

16 Participatory Action Research The learning-by-doing at the heart of participatory action research (PAR) builds capacity while laying the groundwork for development initiatives that address the urgency of the challenge A methodology that aims to bring about improvements in areas of social concern by activating in the people involved in the situation a learning cycle which is ideally never ending. Bullow, 1998

17 PAR Framework in Africa- CCAA an IDRC/DfID Project Technical Experts Program Management Unit (PMU) Advisory BoardDFID and IDRC Agencies) Poorest and most vulnerable individuals in Africa Boundary Partners Rural Poverty & Environment Program Researchers At-risk groups Policy- makers Capacity developers

18 Community Pilot Projects Kenya: Increasing Community Resilience to Drought in Makueni District Mozambique: Community-based Fire Management Strategy in Central Mozambique Rwanda: Reducing the Vulnerability of the Energy Sector to the Impacts of Climate Change Observer Countries: Madagascar and Tanzania

19 Kenya Project Site: Kisau Division of Makueni District. Major source of livelihood is rainfed agriculture Status: Implementation Plan Developed; Project Activities going on. Partners: Arid Lands Resource Management Programme, FAO- Nairobi and Jomo Kenyatta University Field Activities: Downscaling climate forecasts/weather information to guide choice of crops to be planted and timing of agricultural activities Strengthening and diversifying production systems through activities such as: –promoting rainwater harvesting technologies-sand dams; –introducing agro-forestry systems for soil and water conservation; –Introduction of micro-financing to women groups; –Establishing alternative sources of energy-biogas;

20 Drought tolerant crop varieties grown under rain fed cropping system A Farmer training session Early land preparation for planting Early crop germination in one of the plots A typical farm without intervention

21 Sorghum plot early 2007 A flourishing cash and/or food crop – Pigeon peas Same sorghum plot one month later A farmers field day

22 A maize crop in a demo site in an adjacent farm

23 Highland Malaria Epidemics

24 Nairobi River Basin Programme

25 Images of Nairobi River

26 Missing Links in Relation Between University and Private Sector Lack of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Research Office in all universities Exploitation offices Glue money to partner university, private sector and government Community and Private Sector Linkages and Partnership Relations Offices in all universities


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