Science in Africa: lessons from the past, hopes for the future

Nigerian virologist Oyewale Tomori describes how science has fared in the six decades since his country gained independence, with a frank assessment of the current state of academic research in his home country and across the continent.

Tomori, past president of the Nigerian Academy of Science and a former vice-chancellor of Redeemer’s University in Ede, discusses the effects of foreign funding; brain drains and the contribution of diaspora scientists; and the societal changes needed to attract more women into science.

One specific suggestion is that scientific academies and individual researchers work harder to engage the public. “If your science doesn’t affect the life of your people, nobody cares about you,” he says.

Tomori’s assessment of the state of science in Africa is the second episode of an eight-part series, presented by Akin Jimoh, chief editor of Nature Africa.

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