Dr Ernest G. Foli, a Silviculturist and Mensurationist has said lack of science applications in many policies and plans have affected global change needed for accelerated sustainable development.
He said a far more optimistic future is still attainable but only when drastic changing or realigning development policies, incentives and actions were activated.
Dr Foli disclosed these as a member of the independent group of 15 scientists appointed by the United Nations to draft the Global Sustainable Development (GSDR) report during the Sixth Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-6) underway in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
He said researchers in sustainability science and other disciplines, must work together to solve development problems and strengthen the science-policy-society interface, providing society and policy-makers information they could use to solve development problems.
Dr Foli, also a Principal Scientist of the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research called for shifting current research priorities and supporting innovative approaches to sustainability science, emphasizing cross-disciplinary partnerships, and committing support and resources to scientific institutions, particularly in the global South.
He said science must play a major role in advancing sustainable development and indicated African science policy must interface with global policies with Universities, policymakers and funders of research increasing funding to actual use the 2030 and 2063 Agendas.
He said science would ensure human wellbeing, create fair economies, secure food systems, achieve clean energy, build sustainable cities and chart the pathways to protect the planet.
Dr Foli said for the transformative power of the Agenda 2030 and 2063, Africa need to make intentional choices that are time-bound spiced with deliberate synergies and anchor on science and technology.
Dr Belay E. Begashaw, Director General, Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa said researcher should realign their works to be befit society and Africa, focus on national policies, tailoring it into the global situation and stay out of the box and avoid stereotypes.
He said African science institutions are not strong enough citing a report that ranks Universities that included only one institution placed among the first 150 Universities globally.
He said new ground and funding regimes should be sort to facilitate research work that would anchor or deliver the expected results of the SDGs.
Dr Begashaw said policy should avoid lumping the SDGs into one silos as they have different doors and trade-offs, which leads into different pathways.
He said though the attainment of the SDGs is technically feasible and attainable, these are not scientifically proven but adopting the future is now approaches would be the game changer.
Dr Sven Grimm, Political scientist from the Stellenbosch, facilitating said Africa must fashion out continental home-grown strategies and solutions to advance the course of accelerated attainment of the SDGs.
He said expertise from other jurisdictions should be tapped to shape the African narrative and believes it is doable and attainable.