There is a marked interaction between researchers in the countries in North Africa which share both language and culture.The point dovetails into the recent article --from where we got the title to this post --at sci.dev.net by Charles Dhewa about the need to "domesticate" science by using Africa's vernacular languages to talk about it:
Yet despite centuries of scientific undertakings on the continent, there is still no vernacular word for 'science'. In Southern Africa, science remains a minority, English-language based, pursuit that reinforces the domination of English at the expense of local languages such as Ndebele, Swahili and many others. This marginalisation of African languages and practices means much local knowledge is lost. Many innovations by farmers and rural communities are excluded from modern science and technology (S&T) because there are no local terms or expressions to capture them. It is vital for ordinary people to be able to participate in science innovation. Moving the large body of indigenous knowledge into mainstream S&T systems will help address pressing development issues on the continent.And with the whole idea of wikis, open source and fast broadband networks enabling video, dubbing or captioning, suddenly the idea of knowledge building by talking about science using local languages actually seems doable and, even more importantly, sustainable. Not to mention that it also gives a whole new meaning to sustainable science development. The video below looks at scientific knowledge building using wikis and other web 2.0 tools to pass along agriculture methods at the local level, but it also hints at how one could pass along science at the local level if there was the language to talk about it:
African policymakers must make an effort to 'domesticate' science by using vernacular languages to talk about it. This means investing in translation activities. To achieve this we must strengthen the role of intermediaries with specialist communication skills — people who can translate and summarise complex S&T ideas in local languages and explain both the concepts and implications with simplicity. Such people are sometimes called 'integrators', 'filters' and 'synthesisers'.