Government, in its characteristic style of preaching one thing and doing the other, particularly, as pertains to infusing cutting edge science oriented paradigms and requisite funding into tertiary levels of education has pushed the Cameroon Bioscience Society, CBS, to expose the gaping need for greater attention to bioscience research in the country in order to enable bio-scientists contribute remarkably to the country’s 2035 emergence vision.
They made the appeal Thursday, November 30, in Buea during their 24th annual conference on the theme; ‘Bioscience research for Cameroon’s Emergence.’
Going by the seventh President of CBS, Prof. Elias Nunkenine, the number seven means completeness and perfection; and they are going to be aggressive in pushing the implementation of biosciences, so that the impact of research can be felt in the society. He said publishing findings without promoting same in the community has little or no meaning and so, within his three-four years at CBS Presidency, he will seriously push research from the laboratory to the public.
“Other stakeholders like Government should give us support. You can have the brain, but without a laboratory or money, you will do nothing. We have the minimum but need some improvement. We need support from Government, donors and thelocal population because, to know the people’s want, you must ask from them. What they are used to, is what we will modify and see how we can adapt,” Prof. Nunkenine stated.
Participants agreed that Cameroon scientists have been doing good research but that unfortunately, it has not been development orientated and is taking the country nowhere because the objectives are not clearly defined.
According to one of the members of the National Bureau of the Cameroon Bioscience Society, Prof. Fidelis Chungwa, the people controlling the resources should know that investment in bioscience is very good. “If Government were to put for instance, FCFA 2 billion into research today, you can be sure that in 10 years, that FCFA 2 billion would have brought in maybe FCFA 50 billion,” he averred.
Emphasizing on the need for Government to support science, Dr. George Enow Orock, pathologist, elaborated on epidemiology challenges in Cameroon that can hinder “Vision 2035.” He said scientists are very enthusiastic to work but are not encouraged due to the lack of political will to foster bioscience research in the country. Insisting that only a healthy population can work and take the country to emergence, Enow Orock advised that Government must begin to see the role of bioscience if it must attain ‘Goal 2035.’
Representing the Vice Chancellor, VC, of the University of Buea at the Conference was Prof. Lucy Ndip, who emphasized that bioscience’s missions today is to promote community outreach through research. In this regard, she continued, the need arises to build a network of scientists that will harness all knowledge gained in all their research projects and see how Cameroon can emerge in 2035.
She noted that scientists in the Faculty of Science in UB were doing good research, especially in the area of biotechnology and health research. “Health is wealth and we think that if these scientists put their resources together, we will actually emerge.”
The three-day conference brought together participants from within and without the country. It is expected that with the enlightenment from the conference, researchers will have to rethink, modify research models, forget old ways of doing things and above all, believe in themselves in order to reduce dependence because, they have practically most of what it takes to be emergent.
By Nester Asonganyi