Scholars have a pivotal role to play in development

Last week, experts at a two-day education forum for science, technology and innovation called for collaboration among institutions to facilitate sharing of knowledge across the continent.

Last week, experts at a two-day education forum for science, technology and innovation called for collaboration among institutions to facilitate sharing of knowledge across the continent.

Convened by the Government of Rwanda and the World Bank under the theme “Accelerating Africa’s Aspirations,” the forum called for establishment of regional institutions and centres of excellence to leverage economies of scale. Sharing innovations is one of the avenues through which the continent will address the problems African countries are facing.

Over the years, Africa has grappled with common challenges such as poverty, hunger and rural under-development among others.

This pattern is a clear indication that African countries share similar challenges that call for shared efforts to find solutions.  Sharing of ideas is one of the ways to get remedies to these shared challenges. This is where the academia of the respective countries need to play a critical role through partnerships and research.

Using shared knowledge, they should make sense of what it will take for Africa to stamp out hindrances to development such as poverty, disease and un-employment. 

Academics should get involved in essential and vital research to address rural poverty and improvement of agricultural sector, which is the backbone of economies of most African countries.

However, the research should be coordinated and well thought out to feed into the work of policy makers and other relevant bodies involved in tackling food security issues.

Like participants noted, regional institutions, regional networks, clusters and centres of excellence for science, technology and innovation should be established so as to free up economies of scale and promote knowledge sharing across our national boundaries.

 

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