By Lenah Bosibori
Scientists from across the African continent meeting In Nairobi have been urged to share their data findings instead of keeping it in shelves to help solve climate problems.
Speaking in Nairobi during the 7th Regional Center for Mapping and Resources Development (RCMRD)’ s international conference 2023, Davie Chilonga Permanent Secretary Ministry of Lands Housing and Development in Malawi, said that policy makers and scientists in African countries still work in silos shying away from sharing their scientific data due to lack of trust.
“The biggest challenge we have is that we still work in silos, we need to share our data findings and stop putting them in shelves, share until it reaches the policymakers,” said Chilonga.
According to Chilonga, if the data collected by scientists is shared among policy makers, then African countries will be able to solve most of the problems like food security and climate change.
He urged the African governments to invest more resources to ensure that the continent has good and viable data that can be used to solve problems.
“We need to invest in resources to ensure that we have good data that is viable which can be used in various gaps,” added Chilonga.
The three day conference themed ‘NEXT LEVEL,Space to Community brought together over 1,000 delegates drawn from all its 20 RCMRD member countries to provide an excellent platform of how geo-science can effectively be used to inform policy.
Over the last six years, the conference centre has hosted over 4,000 delegates from Ministers, Principal Secretaries, Government Officials, Scientists, Development Partners, Researchers, Academic and Media groups.
Dr Moses Akali, Director Department of Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing (DRSRS) in Kenya said in his opening remarks that scientists also lack trust among themselves.
“We need to cooperate, let’s make ourselves understood by those people who don’t understand us,” said Akali.
He added that there is need for scientists to break down all the technical terms and know how to interpret their findings.
Collin Marangu, Director Plant Protection and Food Safety Ministry of Agriculture Kenya urged the policy makers to trust the scientists with their data as they have proved to be factual.
“Policymakers, academia don’t trust each other, we need to create trust because the data presented is factual,” said Marangu.
Ms Mbarak Husna, representative Food for Agriculture and Organisation (FAO) at the United Nations Kenya office highlighted the challenges faced in formulation of science and policy.
Husna said that coordination and integration of the two units is a big challenge.
“The academia produces alot of research that ends up being presented within libraries and in the academia industry, let us work together by sharing our research for a better future, “said Husna.