Leading African Development Economist and Vice Chancellor of University of Ghana, Legon, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, has said that Nigeria and Africa in general, will not have globally competitive economies without investing in university research.
He also noted that low investment in research-focused universities accounts for why many African universities were ranked low and could not be globally competitive.
According to the seasoned Economist, Africa must develop research universities that would help in providing sound knowledge economy for its transformation and positive change.
Professor Aryeetey made the disclosure while delivering the 67th Interdisciplinary Discourse of the Postgraduate School, University of Ibadan, under the Deanship of Professor Adeyinka Aderinto.
Speaking on the topic “Developing Research Universities for Africa: Some New Approaches,” Professor Aryeetey noted that universities must specialise either in teaching or doing researches, noting that not all universities should be combining both teaching and researching.
He noted that African universities must collaborate, which he said would lead developing outputs that would solve Africa’s problems, adding that the formation African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) had this as one of its visions.
According to him, there was correlation between research outputs and economic growth adding that if Nigeria and African governments refused to fund research for the transformation of Africa, it will be difficult for the continent to experience transformation.
Vice chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka, who stated that education was the bedrock of development, however, lamented that the popular recognitions of the role of universities in national development still operated theoretically in Nigeria and in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Olayinka stated that African governments had failed to meet the needs of her universities which could help the continent build a competitive economy by developing skilled, productive and flexible workforce and by creating, applying and spreading innovations and technologies.
He urged the Federal Government to invest in research and stop blaming educational institutions of ranking low in global educational system.