COMPETENCE, close collaboration and regional leadership are needed to address research challenges in East Africa, Makerere University vice-chancellor Prof. Venecious Baryamureeba has said.
In a speech read by Prof. Idris Rai, the dean of the faculty of science at Makerere University, Baryamureeba reiterated the importance of networking to foster technological development.
This was during the East African Network of Research Excellence and Observatory workshop at the Speke Resort Hotel Munyonyo on Monday
The two-day workshop that gathered researchers, experts, practitioners, academics and policy analysts from Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, was organised by the Inter-University Council of East Africa.
“Collaborative networking among researchers in East Africa is needed to avoid duplication and create a network of information and communication technology,” Baryamureeba said.
The executive secretary of the Inter-University Council of East Africa, Prof. Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha, said the network of research excellence would promote close networking among researchers for easy coordination and funding.
“There is scanty consolidated statistics on research undertaking in East Africa. This situation can be addressed through an ICT enabled network,” he said.
Nyaigotti-Chacha said the network is geared at connecting researchers in the different fields to formulate a vibrant East African research community.
The director of ICT science and technology at the Economic Commission of Africa, Aida Opoku Mensah, described research as vital for development.
“Africa is lagging behind because all that we research does not belong to us.”
She urged East African governments to increase funding for research.
“Research should not be considered as an expense but as an investment.”