He spoke at a two-day workshop which attracted scientists and scholars across the African Continent

In Summary

  • The Scientists were called upon to come up with legal measures that will help in fighting the biological weapons.
  • He told the research scientists and scholars across the African continent to forget about the notion that an excellent African brain goes to the west.

Outgoing Education CS George Magoha addresses delegates during the official opening of the regional workshop on universal and effective implementation of the biological weapons convention in Eastern Africa at White Sands hotel in Mombasa on October 18, 2020

Ministry of Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha on Tuesday challenged African scientists not to always work towards the set target because it limits their intellectual capability.

He spoke on Tuesday during the official opening of the regional workshop on universalisation and effective implementation of the biological weapons convention in Eastern Africa.

“I want to challenge you because it is like you are in the same compartment that I have realised over the last 50 years of my service to humanity that there are several things that African scientists must stand against,” he said.

He told the research scientists and scholars across the African continent to forget about the notion that an excellent African brain goes to the west terming it as a fallacy that should be discarded.

“The scientists that are still here in Africa have even better brains, perhaps the problem that we have, as practicing scholars, is that we have refused to utilise our brains completely,” he said.

Magoha who described himself as a thorough scholar in microorganisms, from the basics to the advances, the various standards of laboratories including the bio containment laboratories that are all over the world,  said that from the school books, Covid-19 was not a natural virus.

“Are you going to be bold enough to discuss it, as we discuss it, are you one of the people who are going to say it went away because of vaccination or by the grace of God?”

He said the agitation that took place made the virus friendly in the body.

The CS encouraged the African scholars saying whoever set the agenda, dictates how it is done and that Africa is by no means poor.

“I was chosen based on my abilities and not political and therefore I want to challenge African governments together that Africa is by no means poor and let it be on record, it is just our priorities which are not set right,” he said.

He said African nations need to set priorities right in order to set their own agenda and ensure they are not left in the dark for them to go as far as they can go and beyond.

“Are you prepared to be liberated, to not have to go to Canada, United Kingdom or Sweden in order for your brain to work the way it works, the mindset must change and that is why there is an urgent need for a thorough biological weapon convention,” he said.

The CS said the executive arm of government is committed to work with experts in the region urging the scholars to always ensure they say the truth.

“If you are asked to say the truth at any time, the truth should remain the same, you do not have to change the answers,” he said.

The National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation and also the National Focal Point of the Biological Weapons Convention director general Walter Oyawa said Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated the potential devastating effects of newly emerging pathogens in the society,” he said.

He said the workshop is part of the broader global objective to intensify multilateral efforts to enhance both the national and global preparedness to prevent, detect and respond to biological threats.

“It is noted that while rapid developments in the life sciences offer new ways to fight diseases, they could also pose a potential risk for abuse to develop biological and toxin weapons hence the need for extra precautions and preparedness,” he said.

Chief Justice Martha Koome in her speech that was read by her representative said the BWC is loadable because it aims at prohibiting biological and toxic weapons thus making it important to have the conversation because the biological weapons are deadly and catastrophic.

She said not only do the biological weapons cause loss of life and devastating economic loss but they are also the culprits of the public fear and mistrust among nations and that it is therefore vital to establish a solid understanding of the BWC.

In Kenya, she said the out-going Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i raised concern in 2020 that some institution of higher learning had become major recruitment centres of terrorist stating that the country was at risk of chemical and biological weapon attack due to lack of laws and curriculum on biosafety in the institutions.

“It is therefore evident that the law is an important tool for effecting the requisite measures, a comprehensive legal framework in this regard will for instance set out the requite parameters in training, safety procedures, building requirements and protect the students and the community at large from accidental exposure or an intentional release of the infectious agents and toxins,” she said.

The CJ said that solid legal frameworks play a critical role because not only do they act as a measure in preventing biological terrorism but they also ensure their existence strengthens the capacity to counter and respond effectively to bio terrorism.

“Every member of the state is obligated to spur the success and to foster development with an aim of creating a stand that promote the implementation of BWC because even if we are the members but do not have laws for effective enforcement mechanism to action the same, this will not yield the desired impact,” she said.