Professor Charles Oluwaseun Adetunji, Dean of Edo State University Uzairue, Nigeria has called for a coherent, sustainable policy and a platform for knowledge-sharing and intellectual property rights among scientists and researchers in Africa.
“We urgently need science and technology start-ups and continuous engagements with each other whiles we strengthen the collaboration between the Industry, Research Institutes, and University.”
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, Prof. Adetunji, a renowned Microbiologist in Africa explained that Intellectual Property rights had been a major issue on the continent among scientists and the time to address it was now.
We need to identify some experts that could collaborate with existing institutions in Africa to share their expertise to fast track innovation and the development of enhanced agricultural products to improve livelihoods in Africa.”
Prof. Adetunji said African scientists from member states were doing so much in the area of research, science, technology, and innovation, and there was the need to do is to create a platform, share ideas, and synergise efforts to achieve AU Agenda 2063 to achieve the Africa we want.”
He called on member states to increase the role of science communication and sensitise policymakers on how to increase investments in Genome Editing (GEd) technologies and use of innovations and enhance exchange opportunities between countries.
GEd is a technology conducted by agriculturists to take out an undesired trait in a crop and replace it with a desired one from the same crop family and that can help develop pests-resistance seed varieties to boost food security
Genome editing has a prominent role to play in improving agriculture in Africa with many researchers exploring the potential of the technology in developing crop varieties for better and more sustainable African Agriculture.
He commended Ethiopia for introducing many indigenous techniques that could be applied in resolving diverse kinds of challenges facing mankind.
“I think I and other scientists in Africa should be ready to support some of the institutes with some novel techniques that could complement the existing technology and innovation in Africa. I am also ready to help in the documentation and filing of patents and innovation using my experience as a former Director of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer.
“All these will go a long way by leading to a drastic improvement in innovation and Research & Development capacities towards the commercialization of genome-edited agricultural products to improve livelihoods as well as to boost the fulfillment of the Agenda 2063, which center around technological advancements from biotechnological innovations in plant and animal breeding leading to drastic advancement in continental agricultural sustainability goals and transform African societies,” he added.