For ages, Africa has proven to be lagging behind when it comes to science and technology and seen the Western world take central stage in this field. This however in the most recent of Sci-Tech awards, has established a totally new viewpoint for Africa.
In its quest to arm the African community with the necessary training capable of competing with Western universities, one of Cameroon’s private university institutions P.K Fokam Institute of Excellence has recognized Africa’s urge to take central stage in the science and technology (Sci-Tech) world.
P.k Fokam Institute of Excellence is a Cameroonian university founded by Paul Kammogne Fokam with the mission to train Africans and prepare them with the necessary skills needed to compete directly with other Western universities. It is this desire to face up with the western world that the P.K Fokam Institute launched a science and technology competition in a bid to promote the continent’s active participation in this area.
Winners of the first edition of the Science and Technology Contest organized by the P.K Fokam Institute of Excellence were made known this year on June 15 during an award ceremony which saw West and Central Africa top the list with the most outstanding science and technology projects.
Togolese Microbiology Engineer, Amoussou Gaffan Ayewode excelled in the best best achievable business plan category. His project code-named, Global Biotek involves the production of bio-pesticides from micro-organisms present in the environment in a bid to provide a natural alternative solution to the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizer which are otherwise, harmful to society.
On their part, a group of young Cameroonian scientists took first place in the best applied research and technological innovation category. Their project was based on the production of sweet varieties of yams that do not harden and can easily adapt to the agro-climatic conditions of the highlands in Cameroon’s Western region.
Given that yams easily and quickly harden after harvest, many farmers involved in the cultivation of this crop face difficulties in marketing such a short-lived crop. Till date, there exist no preservation method for yams and this has led to huge losses recorded by yam farmers.
In addition to sponsoring these ground-braking scientific projects, the Togolese and Cameroonian scientists were honoured with a FCFA 10 million award each. Meanwhile, another Cameroonian, Joseph Nke who specialises in the production of handmade tools for processing cocoa, received a special award worth FCFA 3 million. Second prize victors in each category received FCFA 2.5 million each with a pledge of having their projects funded.
Project financing is particularly crucial to African inventors, reason why these awards will go a long way to promote the science and technology sector of Africa. These awards are definitely expected to see more sci-tech projects developed by Africans and for this dream to come to fruit, other university institutions should as well organize similar competitions.