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  • on 14.01.2015
  • at 05:36 PM
  • by Kevin

Africa Analysis: Fast-forward to end of 2015 0

Linda Nordling dusts off her crystal ball to present key science issues that should impact development in 2015. 

Let me dare say this at the top: Ebola won’t go away as an issue. It might be beaten in West Africa, but the research and health aftermath will keep us busy for some time.

The haemorrhagic fever killed almost 8,000 people in West Africa in 2014, according to the WHO. [1] Even as the outgoing chief of the UN anti-Ebola mission predicts an end to the epidemic in 2015, there is still a long way to go.

In the happy event that Ebola is brought under control, the debate will shift to how to avoid the same epidemic happening again. And findings from research on Ebola treatments will still have a compelling attraction for the media.

But what could be some trends set to shake the African science, policy and development nexus in 2015? Here are three of my frontrunners.

Nigeria’s elections

The elections in Nigeria in next month (February) could destabilise the country and spell trouble for science and technology projects in Africa’s largest economy.   The 14 February polls look set to be a tightly contested race between Christian incumbent Goodluck Jonathan and coalition of opposition parties led by Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army general and a representative of the Muslim north.   Flare-ups seem inevitable along ethnic and religious fault lines of Nigeria. The added pressure of terror group Boko Haram and the plummeting oil price could cook up a perfect storm for unrest.   The low oil price means Nigeria may have to cut its public spending. If public sector salaries and grants are compromised, Nigeria’s university sector could be crippled by strike action as it was in 2013 following a government failure to honour funding promises.

Continue reading at SciDev.net

By Linda Nordling

Photo Credit: Flickr/ Philip Schuler, World Bank

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