By G9ija

The Executive Director,  African Union Scientific, Technical Research Commission (AUSTRC), Dr Ahmed Hamdy, says moving Africa to prosperity through science and technology requires the combined efforts of African Scientists.

Ahmed stated this on Monday, in his opening remarks at the 4th African Scientific Research and innovation Council (ASRIC) congress in Nairobi.

The theme of 2021 congress is: Strategic investment/utilization of STI for Africa’s economic emergence.

NAN reports that ASRIC is a special advisory body to AUSTRC mandated to implement the AU Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa and to promote scientific research and innovation.

Hamdy said ASRIC was launched in 2018 to network and provide a platform for dialogue among African scientists and serve as a voice of the scientific community on the continent.

According to him, the combined efforts of African scientists in Africa and diaspora will help in building and sustaining continental research and innovation.

“We are all agents and participants in our role to move Africa forward and promote scientific research and innovation.

“We are all key role players in order to address the challenges of Africa’s socio-economic development  and in also mobilizing African research excellence,’’ he said.

He added that during the pandemic the commission worked closely with over 250 scientists from academy of sciences and research institutions to help proffer inclusive solutions to the rising challenges.

“Some of those we worked with are here and we shall continue to talk health, equality, food security, wealth creation and solutions from the deliberations,’’ he said.

In addition, the Chairperson of ASRIC, Prof. Ratemo Michieka, said the gathering of  participants would make a difference and improve decision making for STI among countries of the nations where they represent.

He encouraged participants to come up with communiqués after their deliberations and factor in the present challenges posed by COVID-19 and possible solutions.

He called on everyone present to lend their voice in the transformation of Africa into a knowledge-based economy and suggest ways of tapping into Africa’s wealth of natural resources (agriculture, minerals using local skillful manpower and innovations.

“ Only Africans know and understand the African challenge and can come up with ideas that will move Africa forward.

“It is us that can advice the bureau on our findings and also advice the head of governments on the way forward,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the Congress will bring together over 100 delegates selected from scientific, research and academic institutions in the AU Member States and the Diaspora.