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‘Institutional gangs’ working against African scientists – Prof. Akosa

Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa
Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa

A former Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, has alleged that “an institutional gang” is working against African scientists and their works.

He said these groups and individuals deny African scientists the opportunity to get funding for research work if the scientists do not conform to their dictates.

Speaking to Citi News on the sidelines of an inaugural lecture at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences on the topic ‘the tyranny of foreign expertise: epistemic injustice in the global arena with impacts for Ghanaians’ public health care, Dr. Badu Akosa said the development was greatly affecting scientific research on the continent.

“There appears to be an institutional gang against the work and independence of African research. We live where the work is, and we know the disease, but somehow, we are muscled and we cannot be allowed to speak,” he said.

He added that “fundamentally, it is because they will fund the research. If they give you money, then they will expect you to answer certain specific questions. And the chances are that, if you are giving alternative views, then they will let you know that is not the essence of funding research, and what that boils down to is that next time, you are not going to get their funds. African scientists have been stifled and you speak out of term, you are labeled and ostracized from funding.”

Many experts have lamented the low level of Africa-produced research to guide policy and development in African countries.

Very often, research into diseases and other scientific fields on the continent are produced by foreign scientists, raising questions about the potential of the continent’s scientists, but Prof. Akosa believes scientists on the continent are capable of producing quality research work if the existing challenges are addressed.

Meanwhile, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Helen Lauer, has accused international donors of peddling falsehoods about AIDS and Ebola to sell fake drugs in Africa.

According to Prof. Lauer, the findings of African scientists are ignored in favour of exaggerated facts just to frighten taxpayers in the West for economic gain.

She has therefore challenged African scientists to confront what she describes as “white ignorance” instead of tolerating it.

By: Jonas Nyabor & Caleb Kudah/citifmonline.com/Ghana