Africa’s biotechnogy sector crippled by lack of electricity


Money is power, the saying goes. Sure enough, the fraction of GDP invested into science and technology (S&T) is a telling sign of how much a country values its biotech sector.

[After the] keynote speech … at the Africa Diaspora Biotech Summit in the UK, lamenting African countries’ poor rankings on the global S&T investment table – all but one invest less than 1 percent of GDP  – the audience’s attention seemed to be captured by a question about another kind of power.

Speaking from the floor, medical doctor Yemisi Bokinni asked how anyone can do serious genomics research in Nigeria without a steady electricity supply. You need to guarantee the low temperatures it takes to do that work, she said, or work in any sector.

Bokinni … said the question of how to guarantee a reliable electricity supply shows the role that other sectors can play for biotech research – so S&T ministries need to seriously engage across departments, including energy. It’s about getting the basic things right, and creating an enabling environment so researchers can focus on testing and developing ideas, she told me.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: The power missing from Africa’s biotech sector

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