Despite the widespread struggle with governmental stability, Africa continues to make big contributions to global science and technology. Literacy and higher education development seem to be at the forefront of problems in Africa, but there are many positive developments as well which foretell an optimistic future for African scientific and technological development. Here are 5 reasons Africa may be a future leader in science and technology.
1. The Square Kilometre Array
The Square Kilometre Array is a current collaborative international radio telescope project that involves Australia as well as eight sub-Saharan African countries. Once completed in 2024, the telescope will be the largest and most sensitive on the planet allowing scientists to address the most pressing unanswered questions of the universe.
2. The Next Einstein Initiative
Since its creation in 2008, the Next Einstein initiative, created by Neil Turok, has been establishing centers of excellence in African nations with the intent of providing a nurturing environment for budding scientific minds. The goal of the organization is to help create the world’s next great scientist.
3. Previous Contributions to HIV Research
Since the 1980s when Africa became a hub for research regarding HIV, Africa has further contributed to research and breakthroughs regarding the virus. Among these breakthroughs was the understanding of mother-to-child transmission.
4. The MeerKAT Radio Telescope
Predicted to be operational in 2016, the MeerKAT radio telescope will be the largest and most powerful radio telescope until the completion of the Square Kilometer Array in 2024. The possible areas for MeerKAT research will be cosmic magnetism, galactic evolution and dark matter research.
5. Silicon Savannah
Konza City, nicknamed Africa’s ‘Silicon Savannah,’ will be an entire city in Kenya dedicated to research and technological development. The city will be roughly 5,000 acres, 64 km south of Nairobi, and is projected to create 100,000 jobs by 2030.
While these developments foreshadow a positive progression of the African contribution to science and technology, one problem still exists. Many African communities still struggle with making higher education available to students. The previous developments have occurred despite this setback and, as a higher educational infrastructure begins to come to fruition, more progress is certain to be on the way.
– Pete Grapentien