Citizen Science Associations of United States, Europe, Australia and Asia pledged support to establish Africa’s first Citizen Science Association in a meeting held at USIU-Africa on Monday December 4 as part their activities marking the 3rd UN Environmental Assembly (UNEA). A technical committee was appointed to assemble key stakeholders, develop policy and guide formation of the association.
Speaking at the meeting, Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza hailed “emergence of the democratization of research heralded by Citizen Science which will now be accelerated as part of the University’s drive to emphasize and promote use of High Performance Computing to provide solutions to challenges faced by the continent”.
Citizen Science will catalyze research and innovation by citizens and utilize the High Performance Computing (HPC) to be established at USIU-Africa, to process existing research data gathered by ordinary citizens to produce solutions for problems facing Africa. Some key themes identified for citizen engagement are air quality monitoring, marine, freshwater, chemical, land and soil, and waste pollution.
“The University will spearhead High Performance Computing and Citizen Science Association for Africa, as part of our mission to promote the discovery and application of knowledge” he added.
During the HPC for Research and Innovation Forum held at the auditorium on Friday, December 1, 2017, the need to harness available large volumes of data, to solve African problems was underlined.
High Performance Computing is the practice of aggregating computing power in a way that delivers much higher performance than one could get out of a typical desktop computer or workstation in order to solve large problems in science, engineering or business.