Besides teaching, African universities should invest heavily in research to make an impact

Scientific advancements and inventions have been tethered to higher education institutions. [iStockphoto]

Europe, America, and Asia jostle for top positions in research generation, while Africa produces less than one per cent of global research output despite accounting for 13 per cent of the world’s population.

Globally, scientific advancements and inventions have been tethered to higher education institutions.

However, most universities, especially within the African setting, have invested more in teaching only the existing knowledge with limited investment to grow new information through research and scientific innovations.

Information and the world, in general, are dynamic, with constant and frequent changes over time.

Research, therefore, should be apace with these changes for a better quality of life through inventions in health, agriculture, and transport, among other arenas affecting human life directly or indirectly.

Notably, research is expensive, and most universities in our setting have recently suffered financial burdens. However, universities can pool resources to look for research grants and incentives.

There is a need for student orientation at juvenile stages to these available resources and offer financial support to young budding researchers in various settings.

Higher learning

In health, fewer institutions of higher learning are taking part in research, including clinical trials.

Private hospitals, health institutes, and some government research institutes have taken a wide breadth of this role with minimal involvement of public institutions of higher learning.

These trials give a novel approach to managing older and current diseases, including cancer.

Traditional investment in teaching old information should be banished, and we reconsider exploring and actively taking part in growing an information library within a local context.

The creation of new knowledge, new technologies, commercial products, and industrial growth significantly impact the economy.

Further, with the provision of practical solutions to community problems, economic diversity is encouraged within a similar context.

To forge a path toward research development needs the buy-in and investment of African stakeholders, including public institutions of higher learning to create a conducive research ecosystem.

Brian Kipkoech, Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi.