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Challenges of funding renewable natural resources research and education in Sub-Saharan Africa

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The purpose of this paper is to encourage an intellectual debate. I have deliberately avoided the common rhetoric and poverty statistics that have recently come to characterize or accompany any statement on Africa. For so long, the rhetoric that Africa is poor and therefore incapable of spawning its own development has dominated communication and information systems that they could become facts in the minds of some people. If this is not nipped in the bud, especially for the youth of Africa, it will cost the continent dearly in terms of future development. The only way we can sustain development in Africa is to recognize and engage our own intellectual and physical strengths for that purpose, while tapping into our natural capital. It is argued that natural resource education, research and innovation should be funded from the very resources that we are seeking to improve. Thus the starting point is an analysis of the values we should assign to research and education.
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Keywords: Natural resources; education; funding and development; research

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Strengthening Institutions, World Agroforestry Centre, International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, United Nations Avenue P.O. Box 30677-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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