The founder and Board Chairman of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Professor Neil Turok, has urged Africans to use science wisely to better their lives and communities.
He, however, noted that though science has become an important tool for development, there were no enough measures to protect the environment.
Prof. Turok made the call at a public lecture for the late Prof. Francis Allotey, a celebrated Ghanaian Mathematician, on the theme “Developing versatile and innovative STEM leaders for Africa’s scientific excellence and socio-economic development” in Accra, on Tuesday.
The occasion was also used to also commemorate the 10thanniversary of the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Ghana; a non-profit pan-African network of centres, to deliver excellent teaching, research and education in Mathematical Sciences.
Prof. Turok said in order to change the negative impact of science, there was the need for the introduction of new culture in science and mathematics.
“When young Africans from communities most affected by the climate change and other challenges enter science, they can change the situation.
He said “we need to get representatives of African communities into science because they understand the problems and they are part of the communities that are worse affected.
“Most young Africans learning science are venturing into epidemiology, which is studying disease, collecting data and figuring out how to save lives. To them it’s very meaningful when they talk of loss of life because they know the communities that are dying because of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. They want to dedicate lives to saving their people”.
Prof. Turo called on governments in Africa to create opportunities for the youth, to ensure they venture into science.
The Deputy Minister for Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, said Prof. Allotey was an immortal asset and a treasure not only for Ghana but to Africa and the world at large.
He noted that Prof. Allotey’s contributions to science globally were enormous and there was the need to honour him and ensure that his legacy was not downplayed.
The Deputy Minister for Education said the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government has played emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Rev. Ntim-Fordjour said the introduction of Free Senior High School (FSHS) has enabled nearly two million students to access free education, since 2017, with the goal of developing the country’s human capital, particularly in study of STEM.
He said the Ministry of Education has been tasked to ensure that the manpower base for research, manufacturing and technology was built in the country.
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU