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Information Drain: Obstacles to Research in Africa

Mamman Aminu Ibrahim

Report/paper, 12 pages

There appears to be a consensus among African scholars and politicians that the continent has not benefited enough from its scientific research efforts. In an address to a recent congress of the Pan-African Union of Science and Technology, Ghana's Head of State laid the blame squarely on African scientists themselves. Usman(1979), a historian and social critic, had earlier referred to Nigerian academicians as 'intellectual robots'. Aliu and Mohammed (1990) commented on indiscriminate importation of technology as impeding rather than facilitating development, and proposed more funding for indigenous research by African governments. The purpose of research is to generate knowledge, and access to this knowledge is as important as the research process itself (Aliu and Mohammed, 1990; Bozimo, 1983). Access to locally generated information appears to be a problem in Nigeria at various levels, judging by the accusations and counter-accusations in the nation's print media. Government officials as well as the private sector say that scientists and their establishments do not provide them with research results.

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