Minister, VC blame Africa’s woes on poor research system
Afe Babalola wants NUC to organise education summit
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu and the Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Osun State, Prof. Anthony Elujoba, have blamed slow pace of development in African continent on low level of research and failure to utilise the few ones available.
The duo, speaking at a workshop jointly organised by Association of African Universities and Obafemi Awolowo University, noted the great havoc poor research system had done to stagnate the development of African countries.
The minister, who spoke through the Director of Science and Technology Education, Mr. Samuel Ojo, said: “The vacuum created by the weakness of the current linkage or the absence of it in some cases, has adversely affected the development of small-scale businesses or cottage industries in Africa.”
He observed that countries, including the United States (U.S.), Japan, South Korea and others, were able to make rapid progress due to the quantum of researches available and usage, which he said, was responsible for high development portfolio being witnessed in the countries.
The OAU VC, Prof. Elujoba, also noted that, to date, the volume of research and intellectual property coming out of Africa remains very low while there is a large gap in the continent’s capacity to produce new knowledge in relation to its share of the world population.
He said: “While Africa is the second most populated continent with around one billion people which complement the 15 per cent of the world’s population, its contribution to global research output remains low, at less than one per cent. Africa has around 164 researchers per million people compared to the global average of around 1,081 researchers per million people.”
He said universities across the African continent must accept the challenge by intensifying efforts towards increasing research and intellectual outputs to enable Africa catch up with the rest part of the world.
Meanwhile, a foremost legal luminary, Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), has urged the National Universities Commission (NUC) to convene an education summit where the various ills plaguing the nation’s educational system would be addressed.
The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), who spoke yesterday at a reception for the immediate past Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof Julius Okojie and his successor, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed in Ado-Ekiti, said the summit has become necessary for Nigeria to take its rightful place in the comity of providers of quality and functional education worldwide.
Babalola, who identified major problems afflicting the Nigerian educational landscape as funding, attitude of Nigerians to giving, university autonomy in relation to the power of the university council and pro-chancellors, the quality of students to be admitted by the Senate of the universities in the face of JAMB lowering the cut-off mark for admission to 160, among others, said the summit must address all these problems and proffer solutions.
He also wants the summit to address the need for more private universities.