Researchers, academicians, policy-makers and students from Rwanda, India, Namibia and other East African states have converged at the University of Kigali main campus for a conference to brainstorm on ways of revamping research at higher institutions of learning.
The two-day conference, running under the topic, “Advances in Business and information Technology and Doctoral Colloquium,” provides a platform to PhD students at an advanced stage of their research to present their work to a team of experts to receive constructive feedback before finalising it for submission.
Philbert Afrika, the executive chairperson of Board of Directors at the University of Kigali, said the conference, that opened yesterday, puts emphasis on research to promote policy-oriented studies and how the University of Kigali in particular can help advance the development of Rwanda.
“We are aiming at instilling the importance of research in our students and lecturers,” Afrika said.
“We understand that lecturing by teaching is not enough. University teaching might be a pillar but the strongest pillar is being able to do policy-oriented research in the development of the country. We want to ensure that University of Kigali is research-oriented,” he added.
Anil Kumar, associate professor at the Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of New Delhi, noted that since research is mostly focused on emerging and underdeveloped countries in Asia, Africa and South America, revamping research in Rwanda is a good initiative for the country, as well as its neighbours.
Kumar gave a presentation on the topic, “Corporate Governance in Family Owned Businesses,” which he said was relevant to the University of Kigali’s new Centre for Economic Governance in Leadership.
“The objective of that centre is to promote corporate governance, which means you are able to promote and assist companies in the private sector on how they can govern better those companies. One of the many challenges is related to family-owned businesses. We need to help those families find ways on how best they can govern those businesses and I believe it is something we can take up in research,” Afrika said.
The conference was organised ahead of the forthcoming graduation ceremony scheduled for March 10, where more than 700 students will be graduating.