According to Robert Gituru, director of the Sino-Africa Joint Research Center (SAJOREC) at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in central Kenya, China-Africa scientific research, as embedded in the Belt and Road Initiative, has helped local efforts to halt the further spread of deserts in Africa caused by human activity and climate change.
Since its official launch in 2013, SAJOREC, which sits on 40 acres of land and has an expansive botanical garden, has been at the forefront of fostering collaborative research between African and Chinese scientists in diverse fields like agriculture and biodiversity conservation.
Thanks to the establishment of SAJOREC, Kenyan scientists have been able to publish an inventory of the country’s rich flora and fauna, which is critical to generating tourism revenue, Gituru said.
With the Chinese-funded research center, African scientists have been enlightened on cutting-edge but affordable technologies that promote drylands management. Through collaborating with their Chinese partners, African scientists could also improve their capacity to harness microorganisms to control desertification.
Rapid economic development in China that aligns with ecological renewal has been an inspiration to African scientists in their quest for a solution to desertification and loss of species worsened by the climate crisis.