Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, former ambassador for African Union to the United States and the current president of African Diaspora Development Institute, said in an interview that Africa does not need outsiders’ approval to commence with the usage of our age-long herbs.
This comment was made during a Webinar themed the Dentaa Show, hosted by Dentaa Amoateng, to discuss the issues surrounding the Madagascan herbal medicine touted to be a cure for COVID-19, of which Dr. Arikana together with Lalatiana Rakotondrazafy, the Madagascan Minister for Communications were guests.
She stated clearly that she remembered the days of old when our grandparents only visited the backyard any time anyone gets sick and comes back with few herbs and heal the person. She urged that this time around, we must be able to develop African solutions for African problems.
Dr. Arikana, who is a very strong worded Pan-Africanist, equally stated that many of the drugs we use today, coming from the West, were made with herbs from Africa, which we fail to patent by ourselves.
She further made a revelation that is of much concern. She stated that African intellectual properties have been stolen from the continent for centuries.
According to her, there was a colonial arrangement that allowed the colonial masters to regulate research work and articles written by scholars from former colonies.
Per the arrangement as explained by the most revered activist, if you are a British colony, your research papers and articles will have to go to Britain for evaluation; if you are a French or Belgian colony, your research papers will have to be sent to France and Belgium respectively. This, according to her, made these colonists slightly edited and owned a lot of the works done by the African scholars.
The former AU ambassador applauded Madagascar for the discovery and also eulogized the thirty-seven (37) African head of states whom solidarize with the President of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina.