Monday, October 23, 2006

Aid to Enhance Africa's Skills -- King 314 (5798): 385 -- Science

Aid to Enhance Africa's Skills -- King 314 (5798): 385 -- Science:
David A. King
Science 20 October 2006:
Vol. 314. no. 5798, p. 385

"The past 18 months have been important for Africa, with the emergence of a new vision for how to eliminate the continent's poverty for good. Last year's Gleneagles G8 summit made unprecedented commitments to eliminating debt and providing levels of aid that could finally make a difference. In particular, both the Commission for Africa and Gleneagles emphasized science and technology as a central plank in this effort. Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to the need for highly trained scientists, engineers, medical practitioners, and agriculturalists as a developmental priority. This is a recipe for disappointment.....

"It may seem perverse to be worrying about how many scientists and engineers a country produces when adult literacy is so low. But we need to ensure that at least a proportion of people develop high-standard scientific and technological skills relevant to their home countries. This is not elitism. Even a relatively small number of people who are well-educated in science and technology can make a significant difference to their communities."

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