Development: Indispensable Scientific Research Input

It is a sing song that the country needs to attain middle-income level by 2035. Some of the requirements for that emergence are well known and scientific research is definitely a sector that can greatly contribute to building a strong Cameroon. Although the country has what it takes in terms of quality researchers and institutions that can make things happen, many are rightfully still in a wait.     
Several wake up calls have been sounded as to how best efforts both by the State, its partners and other stakeholders can harness their endeavours to get the country to the level it should be. A Cameroonian week of science organised in France from 3-7 April, 2023 came like another trigger to release the potential of researchers in the country. With a delegation of top-notch researchers from Cameroon meeting their French counterparts to promote and popularise the know-how and scientific potential of Cameroonians, and to broaden the scientific and technical platform between Cameroon and France, both countries saw in the opportunity another window to make their research ecosystems visible so as to explore new perspectives. For instance, making Cameroon as a hub for scientific research in Central Africa. That is definitely a lofty idea. The country has been pivotal in several sectors within the sub-region in fostering development and progress.    
Statistics on Cameroon must have been presented during the Paris meeting between researchers from Cameroon and their French peers to serve as an eye-opener for both countries. The French evidently learned about what is happening in Cameroon, like the 11 State Universities and 412 private higher education institutions with about 523,000 students. Both parties certainly talked about the eight specialised research centres and the difficulties encountered in the valorisation of the results produced by 2,000 researchers spread all over the country. Visits to various French research institutes also took place. Notably the Centre national de recherches scientifiques, the University of Paris-Saclay and its polytechnic.    
Cameroonians have over the years occupied enviable positions across the globe in the area of scientific research, producing highly-sought-for results. Some home-groom researchers are excelling in prestigious international institutions. While their desire to seek greener pasture may not be a problem as such, because even back home there are still qualitative and quantitative researchers to deliver the goods. The real worry lies in the progress being made by the country compared to the existing potential. Food production, road construction, engineering, mechanics, healthcare management, law, education, linguistics, civil aviation and so on, are areas where Cameroonians have served as references across the world. Unfortunately, that has not matched infrastructural development in the country. Shaking off the yoke of dependence and undermining some of the values at home has been a regrettable hallmark in the country to the extent that national attention has of late been on the need to enforce the “Made in Cameroon” brand at all cost.      
Going to showcase the country’s abilities in Europe was evidently a strong sign that those in the sector feel sanguine that there is much to exhibit at the world-class level. They are clearly not wrong in their thinking. Talking with their peers in the West, they obviously had no reason to feel inferior since some of them might have been products of some of the most prestigious scholarly structures in the world. They might have had the occasion to revisit such facilities while on the scientific exhibition trip with the Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation last week. Taking advantage of their trip to France last week to read new publications by their peers and seeing how much input their colleagues are impacting into the development of their countries, could leave them with some sense of unfinished business back home. Not only do opportunities exist for them to excel, but there are several areas where they ought to make the difference by ensuring that the findings that they uncover in laboratories and research institutes are not left to fallow.     
Talking about openings for research inputs, since January 2021 when the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) went operational, the indicators ...



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