Experts from various African countries have called for innovation and creativity to ensure quality research that will help make relevant policies to handle various challenges facing the continent.
The call was made at a three-day African Network for Internationalization of Education (ANIE) annual conference on Friday in Kigali. The conference brought together universities from 23 African countries, researchers and other experts.
In the 21st century, research is synonymous with sustainable development. It is by and large the key to unlocking Africa’s potential and ensuring optimal use of resources amidst poverty and other challenges affecting the continent.
No country or institution can put claim to sustainable development without embracing research at the planning level. Indeed the future of African development will largely depend on how much is invested in research to seek the right solutions for Africa’s challenges.
The new regional and global dynamics require concerted efforts to put research at the forefront of planning and policy formulation. But at the forefront of this drive is the academia at the apex of the education system. Universities must move beyond lip service and making recommendations that only end up gathering dust without any implementation.
Academic researchers should engage policy makers to ensure that planning is done on the basis of research.
Rwanda has lately moved to allocate more funding to research, which is a step in the right direction because research is the starting point, if the country is to achieve sustainable development in the long run.
Like Dr. Marie-Christine Gasingirwa, the Director General for Science, Technology and Research in the Ministry of Education noted, there is need for more efforts to finance research projects so as to come up with results that can help make better policies.
Research leads to evidence based policies, better use of resources, good governance and good development, and this is what the African continent requires.