HUYE - Researchers attending the 6th annual research conference at the National University of Rwanda have called on the government and the private sector to fund research programmes that have a bearing on the socio-economic development in the country.
The three-day research conference organised under the theme: “Research for poverty reduction and development,” has attracted researchers from 15 countries that include hosts Rwanda, Canada, UK, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa among others.
Dr. Verdiana Grace Masanja, the Director of Research at NUR, noted that developing countries have a great need of tapping into research for the purposes of boosting sustainable development.
She noted the need for public and private institutions to fund research studies since they are the prime beneficiaries.
Developed countries, she added, have reaped immensely as a result of embracing research as a tool for fostering innovation.
“Adequate research and innovations are needed to assess how the economy stands and these can then be used for the purposes of taking measures to secure a better future,” she said.
Speaking at the conference, the universitysRector, Prof. Silas Lwakabamba, observed that the socio-economic impact of research on human welfare is immense.
He said that social development, economic growth and the development of public knowledge assets and its accessibility to a wider range of individuals, including exchange of skills between individuals, nations or cultures, arises from research.
“Government should empower human investment so as to reduce poverty,” Lwakabamba said.
Meanwhile, some participants at the conference, though recognising the necessity of funds for valuable research studies, criticised some researchers who they accused of lacking capacity to conduct productive studies or the failure to bring in useful initiatives.
For the private sector to fund higher education, one participant noted, researchers have to show what they [private sector] are going to benefit from such initiatives.
Gustave Tombola, the Director of Research, Consultancy and Cooperation at Kigali Independent University (ULK) noted that there is need to conduct research that is helpful to government’s efforts in promoting socio-economic development.
Different research papers will be presented during the three-day conference that officially ends today.