African graduates have been urged to produce research that can be implemented to promote sustainable development, not that which would gather dust on shelves.
The call was made by Mrs. Gladys Ghartey, Head of the UN Unit at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, keynote speaker at the maiden Africa Graduate Conference held on 29th - 31st August, 2018 at Wisconsin International University College , Ghana (WIUC-GH).
The three-day conference, organised by the institution's School of Research and Graduate Studies, brought together graduates and academics from various universities in Ghana as well as from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, South Africa and Benin, among others.
Speaking on the theme, '21 st Century Research: Theory Meets Practice for Sustainable Development', Mrs. Ghartey urged researchers and graduates to produce evidence-based research that addresses development priorities and not opt for "the easy and convenient way out" by conducting shallow research.
"21 st century research that will help nations and communities to develop must be relevant, rigorous and evidence-based," Mrs. Ghartey said.
She added: "The combined effect of the inter-connectedness of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) and the context-driven nature of development interventions to all extents necessitates continued research that supports a march towards sustainable development."
The Head of UN Unit at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development said the SGGs were the hardware of development, while research was the software, which needed to be constantly updated.
She added that practitioners and policymakers are looking for opportunities to discuss with academia ways in which they can produce evidence-based research that provides solutions.
Guest speaker Professor Ushotanefe Useh, Dean of Faculty of Health and Education at Botho University, Botswana and Justice Isaac Duose, Chairman of WIUC-GH's University Council, who was conference chair, also addressed participants on the theme. Participants also took part in thematic plenary sessions.
Dr. Rutazuya Vaillant Byizigiro from the College of Education, University of Rwanda, one of the participants at the conference said: "The conference has been helpful in finding solutions to problems of Africa's population. The theme for the conference is well placed and timely in ensuring development collaboration research."
According to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Dr. Albert Gemegah, the aim of the conference was to bring together graduate researchers and academics to share ideas on how to implement, and where possible, monetize research findings.
The event was supported by the Association of African Universities (AAU), of which Wisconsin International University College, Ghana is a member, as well as KEK and Glico Insurance. WIUC-GH has five schools and two faculties. Postgraduate programmes fall under the School of Research and Graduate Studies.
Programmes offered by the School Research and Graduate Studies at the institution include: MA Adult Education (options in Community Development, Human Resource Development), MBA (options in Finance, Project Management, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Accounting, Management Information Systems), MSc. Environmental Sustainability and Management and the Pearson - BTEC (UK) Extended Diploma in Strategic Management & Leadership.