This week, Kigali hosted a conference on the effects of the 1994 Genocide on research, with delegates condemning dishonest researchers who, instead of depicting the reality, have played to the gallery of Genocide revisionists and apologists.
Over the recent past, Rwandans have been perplexed, to say the least, by the misleading accounts peddled by certain individuals who seek to distort the events surrounding the Genocide against the Tutsi, by joining hands with certain fugitives and their sympathisers to misinform the world about the tragic events that befell the country prior, during and after the Genocide.
This manipulation is part of a broader plot to undo the achievements the country has registered since 1994, by attempting to shift the blame and to distort the discourse on the Genocide.
The revisionists do not only mock the survivors but also exacerbate post-Genocide trauma cases, and insult the patriotic Rwandans who stopped the killings.
It is, therefore, encouraging that researchers from different countries have realised this inhumane trend, and chosen to speak out against it. Research work carried out objectively can help expose issues that need urgent action for the good of society.
As such, researchers have a big responsibility in the advancement of the socio-economic sphere, by conducting genuine research.
In addition, it is important that researchers are keenly aware of concepts and contexts of the particular areas under study. Different societies have different realities, which must not be ignored or subjected to foreign benchmarks. This ‘one-size-fits-all’ attitude is common among some western researchers, who are insensitive to the varied contexts of non-western countries.
Furthermore, researchers should be wary of certain secondary data since some of it was compiled by individuals with politically inspired agendas.
Nonetheless, African researchers need to take a leading role in carrying out research in their continent since they understand Africa better than their counterparts from elsewhere.