Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development Services, University of Lagos, says more than 600 million people in Africa lack access to electricity.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ogunsola stated this in Ibadan on Tuesday while delivering the 7th annual public lecture of the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA).
According to her, the access rate to electricity in Africa has been slowly rising since 2000 and currently stands at 43 per cent.
“Africa accounts for 600 million of the one billion people globally without access to electricity.
“The projection for sub-saharan Africa is that access will double by 2030 but there will still be about 600 million people without access to it due to high population growth rates and uneven development.
“This low rate of access can be turned to a major advantage with the embrace of renewable energy such as solar energy,’’ she said.
Ogunsola advised the Federal Government to urgently work on how to control the growing population.
She said unless population was controlled infrastructure development would not match a geometrically growing population.
The don also advised government at all level to address health care problems holistically.
“For Nigeria’s health institutions to be ready for the future, it must digitise patient records in an electronic management system.
“Few countries of the world spend over one per cent of their Gross Domestic Product on research, Nigeria spends less than one per cent of her GDP on research.
“Government must invest in human capital development rather than in infrastructure; only a literate populace will develop infrastructure,’’ she said.
Earlier, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, said that African researchers must conduct locally relevant researches that would leapfrog the continent into a global power.
Olayinka, who was represented by the Provost, College of Medicine, Prof. Oluwabunmi Olopade-Olaopa, said African scientists were more relevant in solving Africa’s problems.