Accra, July 21, GNA - Professor Olugbemiro Jegede, Secretary General of the Association of African Universities (AAU) on Tuesday stated that Africa cannot attain sustainable development without access to knowledge and information sharing.
“It is crystal clear that the 21st century is being built around an information economy as a catalyst to developing a knowledge-based and a learning society,” he said.
Prof. Jegede was speaking at a two-day workshop on Open Access
Institutional Repositories Sensitization Capacity building themed, “Harnessing and Disseminating Research Information as a key to the Development of Knowledge-based Economies in Africa”.
The workshop was jointly organized by AAU and the Research Libraries in Ghana (CARLIGH) with support from the Royal Tropical Institute of the
Netherlands, and was attended by about 100 educational representatives from the African Continent.
It is to help create awareness on Open Access Institutional Repositories and its benefits to researchers, institutions and the various countries. It also aims at boosting significantly the economic, social and educational benefits of making research output available without financial, legal and technical barriers to access.
Again the meeting would serve as a platform for participants to deliberate on policies and issues for the establishment and smooth running of Institutional Repositories.
Prof Jegede said knowledge sharing was important to higher
Education, adding that research organization could facilitate national development.
Mr Mahama Ayariga, Deputy Minister of Education in a speech read onhis behalf, said higher education played a major role in research and publishing of research findings which was crucial in the development of the African continent.
Mr Ayariga said the time had come for Africa to be able to institute research publications to enable the world to learn and have access to the Continent’s research.
He said, “The challenge for African scholarly publishing and dissemination include the fact that universities and research bodies produce a large amount of knowledge but do not always reveal the findings”.
The Education Minister also mentioned the lack of investment to do research, human resource and the requisite publishing skills as some challenges that researchers face.
Dr. Pascal Hoba, Head of Communication at the AAU, commenting on one of the finest projects known as the Database of Africa Theses and Dissertation (DATA) of AAU, said the initiative is a programme to improve management and access to African scholarly work.
He said it sought to contribute towards the creation of an environment conducive to research and publication in African universities and the region as a whole, and creating capacity in African universities for the collection, management and dissemination of theses and dissertations electronically.
Other reasons for the project, he said, was to provide visibility and improve accessibility to the work of African scholars both within and outside of the continent, and to facilitate the development of relevant copyright procedures and regulations which will promote the protect the intellectual property rights of African University researchers and scholars.