OVERVIEW OF RESEARCH FOR DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA
Topic of the seminar presentation : “OVERVIEW OF RESEARCH FOR DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA”
Prof Jacinta A. Opara, PhD, DSc
Date : Wednesday 28 September, 2022 ; From 10.00 am
Research has become pertinent in defining the status of a university. Research and development are two sides of the same coin. What makes people undertake research? This is a question of fundamental importance. Without research we cannot answer the question or similar questions. Scholars must have the capacity to analyse their situations and to use investigative approaches to decision making and problem solving. The systematic procedures and approaches of advancing knowledge, suggested by research process, also serve as a disciplined and systematic procedure for managerial problem solving.
The possible motives for doing research may be either one or more of the following: desire to get a research degree along with its consequential benefits; desire to face the challenge in solving the unsolved problems, i.e., concern over practical problems initiates research; desire to get intellectual joy of doing some creative work; desire to be of service to society and desire to get respectability. However, this is not an exhaustive list of factors motivating people to undertake research studies. Since the advent of the 21st century, there has been cry of paucity of funding to sustain research in universities. This problem has been manifested in its worse form in many parts of Africa. This virtue is worth emphasizing in the context of the current historical moment in Africa because the present imbroglio in the state and society of
African countries especially as it affects higher education and human capacity building is a product of inept governance, institutional failure or leadership incompetence. Our concern in this piece is to show that research has been a very important determinant of development. Most sub-saharan African nations have not been committed to ensuring fairness and equity in resource allocation and policy framework to support research. This anomaly has created poor visibility both in relative and absolute terms across space in the region. Hence, development continued to be far-fetched in Africa.
Prof Jacinta A. Opara, a leading African scholar and woman scientist is a full Professor of Environmental andBiological Sciences who siince the past 25 years, has held appointments at several institutions across Africa, America, Europe and Asia. She has served as a Head of Department, Dean, Director and Deputy Vice Chancellor in the unversity system. She is Fellow of Chartered Institute of Administration and Chairman of the Governing Council of Institute of Policy Management Development. Professor Opara has worked on a number of international projects, partnership initiatives and human capacity-building programmes with a wide range of stakeholders. She has organized several international conferences, seminars and workshops across the globe. She is Editor in Chief of Journal of Health and Environmental Studies, Editor in Chief of Metropolitan Journal of Science and Technology and serves on the editorial board of over 30 international journals. She has received several awards, fellowships and grants including the Erasmus Mundus of the European Commission, BrusselsBelgium and the prestigious IATEL Award for Academic Excellence in 2015. She maintains consulting status with several local and international agencies in the areas of environment, health, gender, human rights, peace and security, sexuality, education, human capacity building and community development. She is a Fellow of the African Sexuality Leadership Development funded by Ford Foundation and a Delegate/Resource Person/Consultant of the 2008 UN World Women ́s Day of the Women International League on Peace and Freedom(WILPF),Geneva-Switzerland; United Nations PANAFCON Summit on Water, Sanitation and Human Settlement, Addis Ababa-Ethiopia; 2004 UN World Habitat Day(UNHABITAT), Nairobi-Kenya; UNU-EHS Project on Environment, Forced Migration and Social Vulnerability, Bonn-Germany; UNU-WIDER Project on Country Role Models, Helsinki-Finland and the 2008 Women`s World in Madrid-Spain. She has over 150 publications and speaks English and Spanish.