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University teacher tasks Africans on technology, innovation

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A renowned professor of biochemistry at Covenant University, Shalom Nwodo Chinedu, has urged Africans to step up engagement in the area of science, technology and innovation through biotechnology to counter any form of colonisation. Chinedu explained that the region is robbed of bio- resources because genes for the desired products have been craftily taken away from Africa’s rich biodiversity and cloned into other organisms and used to make the desired product.

He disclosed this at the 18th inaugural lecture of the Covenant University (CU), Ota titled “From evolution to revolution: Biochemical disruption and emerging pathways for securing Africa’s future.”Of the developmental issues confronting the region, Chinedu noted that hunger and famine are the worst.

“The problems of hunger and food insecurity have global dimensions and are likely to persist, and even increase dramatically in some regions, unless urgent, determined and concerted action is taken, given the anticipated increase in the world’s population and the stress on the natural resources.”

He further stated that the factors that contributed to Africa’s poverty include external issues such as unfavorable balance of trade and large external debts, and internal problems including armed conflicts, political instability and inadequate public investment in agricultural research, training and infrastructure, culminating in low agricultural productivity and declining food production.

Chinedu, who highlighted new developments in science, said innovative technologies and techniques constitute the emerging pathways, which Africans should engage to secure their future.He added that Africa must invest heavily and continuously in science, technology and innovation to meet her developmental targets and improve the lot of the people.

“There must be a clear understanding of the role of science, technology and innovation in development and a visible commitment to this by African leaders, particularly through the funding of researches and the establishment of state of the art laboratories, workshops and centres of excellence in schools and research institutes.”

Besides, he tasked African researchers on the need to move their discoveries from the laboratory to the market and promote biotechnological research and product development. Chinedu added that we need persons with requisite skills and competence in the area of biotechnology to drive biological revolution in African.

He therefore urged Africa to rise up from her state of cold indifference and ignorance to tap into the huge opportunities offered by the biotechnological advances that have radically altered the long, held norms and assumptions in science and technology.


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Shalom Nwodo Chinedu
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