7 CONCLUDING REMARKS
In considering initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa, there is a tendency
to generalize, despite the great differences between countries and
the institutions within those countries. With regard to research in
chemistry, the performance of countries varies from practically non-existent,
to institutions performing quite well with donor assistance. Research
showed that those countries in need of aid, were the least able to
benefit from it. (ref. 26) Any strategy
for the stimulation of human resource development and research in
chemistry should cater for these diversities, which should preferably
be addressed on a regional basis.
Due to the poor performance of the economies of many Sub-Saharan
countries, the creation of job opportunities for the emerging trained
individuals did not occur. Many Africans, trained in the best laboratories
throughout the world, elected to pursue careers outside Africa (Brain
Drain). (ref. 46) Nevertheless, Chemistry
Departments in Africa have at their disposal a core of excellently
trained chemists and leaders on which to build. Many academic staff
members are demoralized due to the lack of housing, the scarcity and
inconvenience of public transportation in the absence of private motoring,
and low pay compared to cost of living. (ref.
Addressing the human resource and research development issues of
chemistry in isolation will improve the situation inefficiently, due
to a large number of built-in interrelated uncertainties and deficiencies
in the higher education system in many African countries. Concentrating
on just chemistry already presents an international challenge of enormous
magnitude, requiring a long-term commitment and a total investment
that can only be met by a sustained international effort. The outcome
of the project is largely dependent on political decisions by African
governments on a continent of changing political fortunes and under-performing
economies as well as on the universities to seize the initiative.
It will be a challenge to be met by the universities - institutions
under enormous pressure to meet access demands, requiring restoration
of greater autonomy and greater financial security in order to strategically
plan for and positively impact on the outcome of their countries'
knowledge and technology driven future.
- Back to contents
News & Notices - Organizations
Committees - Divisions
- Projects - Reports - Publications
Conferences - Links
Page last modified 27 January 1999.
Copyright © 1997, 98 International Union of Pure and Applied