who benefits from African research?
The case spans over more than 20 years. It begins in the 1980s and is currently being debated. Between 1984 and 1986 a Ph. D. Botany student wanted to establish what kind of enzymes could be found in lakes of the Great Rift Valley of East Africa, namely: Lakes Bogoria, Magadi, Nakuru, Elementaita and Solai within Kenya, and Lake Natron in Tanzania. These lakes are famous for their salt and soda and their extremely hot geysers. Due to the fact that Kenyan universities do not generally possess the kind of powerful laboratory equipment needed to carry out such a research, this candidate arranged to send samples to major laboratories in the world. In order to do so she applied for and obtained the necessary permits according to the laws regulating this kind of research in Kenya. The results submitted to her by those outstanding scientific centers indicated that no enzymes could be traced in any of the samples she had sent from the different lakes. Since no enzymes could be found in the samples taken from any of the lakes, the research student changed the focus of her research. Her new project would consist in establishing what kinds of organisms could be found in just one of the lakes: Lake Bogoria in Kenya.