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Q&A: Investing in science to reduce conflict in Africa

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Originally published by scidev.net.

Many of the recent conflicts in Africa could have been avoided if countries had invested in science, Romain Murenzi, executive director of TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences), said at a conference last week.

During the Science Africa UnConference run by the Planet Earth Institute in London, United Kingdom, Murenzi told SciDev.Net that conflicts such as the 1994 genocide in Rwanda can be seen as a failure of critical thinking.  A scientific education could have led people to question instructions to kill their neighbours solely because of their ethnic origin.   He emphasised that if the continent is to avoid being left behind in the global knowledge economy, African countries need to adopt a science and technology strategy, to invest in the data revolution and increase the numbers of academics with PhDs.

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