Just one year ago, ministers promised 2011-2020 would be the decade of science for Africa. However at the end of last year, the Nigerian government announced that they will be slashing scientific funding in their recent budget. This news has caused concern within Nigeria’s scientific community as funding for buildings and equipment within the science and technology sector will be significantly reduced, consequently reducing the scientific output of the country.
Ishaq Akinlade, Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology, said: “It took the national assembly serious battles in 2010 to raise the allocation for capital development for the science sector. It is lamentable that, instead of improving on that, the executive arm of government reduced it.
"For any country to move forward, science and technology must be taken seriously.”
Similarly, BioMed Central prioritizes the expansion of scientific research in the developing world and to this end, the company launched Open Access Africa in 2010. Organized in conjunction with Computer Aid International, the event aims to encourage greater commitment to science within low income countries by allowing free access to the latest scientific research. The event allowed researchers to see how open access can enable scientists in this region to further their studies and discover the benefits of communicating their work internationally.
In addition, BioMed Central’s charity drive last year has resulted in a vast number of free computers being donated to Kenyatta University, Kenya, to be used to accelerate research projects and learning.
Open Access Africa is central to BioMed Central’s ethos and will continue to promote scientific development. Plans for 2011 are well underway so please visit the website for the very latest information.