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Neglect Of Biotechnology May Lead To Africa’s Recolonisation – Don

Nigeria Student Forum / General Discussion / Neglect Of Biotechnology May Lead To Africa’s Recolonisation – Don

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Fadeyi Oluwaseun
Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomosho
B.tech Marketing Management
200Level, Nigeria.

A Professor of Biochemistry at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Shalom Chinedu, has warned that the cold indifference and failure of Africa to tap into the huge opportunities offered by biotechnological advances may lead to her recolonisation.

Professor Chinedu, Department of Biochemistry at CU stated this while presenting his research works titled: “From Evolution to Revolution: Biochemical Disruptions and Emerging Pathways for Securing Africa’s Future” at the 18t Inaugural lecture organized by the institution.

The enzymology and molecular genetics biochemist condemned what he described as ‘Let’s Wait and See’ attitude of the continent’s approach and urged her to do away with pervading apathy and ignorance by tapping into the benefits of the ongoing biological evolution.

According to him, researches have shown that of the hundreds of pharmaceutical products currently in use around the world, 74 per cent are derived from plants and 75 per cent of such plants were from tropical forests in Africa and South America

“The question is how much income comes from these pharmaceutical products to Africa and South America? Nothing significant! It is a well-known fact that proceeds from products derived from tropical African plants go to North America, Europe and Asia (China and South Korea) through their big pharmaceutical and biotech companies which make the products and also control the market.

“Biotechnology has the potential to improve agriculture, boost food supply and counter famine, environmental degradation, disease and poverty.

“It can also trigger industrialisation and rapid economic growth in Africa and give the continent a respectable place in the world,” he said.

However, he warned that should the continent failed to take action it will not only be left behind but would be totally disinherited by biotechnology.

On the way forward, the biochemist suggested among others maximal investment in Science, Technology and Innovations (STI); promotion of biotechnological research and product development; collaboration with biotech companies with researchers and intra-African government relationships.

Others include strict regulation of biotechnological research and product development; attention to the challenges of nomadic African life and attention to environmental degradation.

He listed development of a scheme for the conversion of cellulosic wastes into value-added products, isolation of valuable cellulolytic fungi from wood-wastes that secrete large quantities of cellulolytic enzymes for the biodegradation of cellulosic wastes, enzyme production, from microorganisms and fruits, protein sweetener from native African plants, development of an effective procedure for thaumatin extraction and purification involving homogenization and precipitation methods to obtain high quality thaumatin as some of his research works.

Source: https://www.independent.ng/neglect-of-biotechnology-may-lead-to-africas-recolonisation-don/

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