Africa: Big UK Government Funding Cut Threatens Future of Cutting-Edge African Science Research

(file photo).

The bombshell announcement that one of the major international funding instruments for universities in South Africa -- and the rest of Africa -- is cutting its budget by half and terminating or reducing most of its current grants is just the latest blow to the country's research enterprise.

Amir Patel was going to introduce to the world ground-breaking research in biomechanics, where he had applied his inventive mind to reducing the costs of expensive biomechanics equipment by more than 90% for low-cost rehabilitation of people with disabilities and injuries.

Thandazile Moyo -- who grew up watching her mother, an unskilled artisanal miner, extract gold from ore using toxic mercury -- was going to develop mercury-free extraction technologies for the millions who depend on artisanal mining for income, benefiting both health and the environment.

Dyllon Randall was rethinking the entire field of sanitation by upcycling urine for societal and economic benefit.

As of this week, these and other talented young African researchers who had been selected to receive funding for their salaries and research by a UK-funded scheme recognising future leaders of African science, found their funding cut and their futures uncertain.

The bombshell announcement that one of the major international...

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