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"Every new challenge provides an excellent opportunity to do good and high-quality research through collaboration"

News: Dec 09, 2020

Collaboration between continents brings new opportunities for African researchers, and “train-the-trainers” seems to be a useful strategy to strengthen the research communities in low- and middle-income countries.

Professor Ernest Aryeetey and Professor Madelene Ostwald gave keynote speeches at the online webinar organised by Global Sustainable Futures on 25 November 2020. About sixty participants from various countries and universities took part in “Research collaboration in low- and middle- income countries – findings, lessons and ways forward for implementing Agenda 2030”.

The objectives of the day were, among other things, to create an opportunity for researchers to meet, exchange experiences and network. And of course, learn more about the benefits with Global Sustainable Futures as a platform for raising relevant questions about sustainability and for people from different organisations and universities to connect.

“Every new challenge provides an excellent opportunity to do good and high-quality research through collaboration”, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Secretary General of African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) said at the Global Sustainable Research Conference.

Ernest Aryeetey gave a keynote speech addressing “the pursuit of research equity, the instruments ARUA have and their outcomes,” with examples from current intercontinental partnerships.

“Young academics have very little time to do their research, we try to open doors for them. Another important thing is to raise funds and we also have the aim to increase publication in the most respected research journals, Aryeetey said.

Furthermore, Ernest Aryeetey emphasized that there are issues Africa (and Europe) must come to terms with, such as economics, how to take advantage of new technology), inequality and health issues, such as work with efficient vaccines.

“It is time that Africa invests more in vaccine research,” Aryeetey said.

He also said that African researchers need to take the lead sometimes: “Often young African researchers wait for someone to approach them (from the north) to collaborate. We encourage them to take the initiative themselves. Don´t wait for someone to approach you!”

ARUA comprises 16 African research institutions that are willing to work together by “pooling their own limited resources”, to generate a critical mass that can more effectively support research growth in the south (LMICs).

Magdalena Eriksson is the Platform Leader for Global Sustainable Futures and she opened the webinar:
“Within the network of Global Sustainable Futures we want to exchange experiences and learn from each other. We want to explore synergies where we have common interests in issues regarding attaining Agenda 2030 (between universities and in several countries), and beyond”, Magdalena Eriksson said.
GSF will support a continuing dialogue among universities in the south and between south and north.

How science can be used to transform and improve food security

Madelene Ostwald and Ernest Aryeetey
The second keynote talk was delivered by Associate Professor Madelene Ostwald, affiliated researcher at Chalmers University of Technology, “Translate science into policy and practice through capacity building experiences from the AgriFoSe2030” was the title. Madelene Ostwald works with the AgriFoSe-program, which operates in many countries and focuses on how science can be used to transform and improve food security in the global south.
Madelene Ostwald described how colleagues in Kenya participated in a project to “train-the-trainers”. They were asked to invite colleagues at their home institutions and networks to be ’trained’ and together they engaged in real life processes in their field of research. The approach led to one of the take-home messages from the project. “We believe that this is a way to secure a successful exit-strategy that sustain this capacity at these hubs” Madelene Ostwald says.

Professor Gunnar Köhlin
, director of Economics for Development Initiative, (EfD), School of Economics and Commercial Law at the University of Gothenburg, moderated the conference. During part of the morning, participants joined one of two parallel sessions, each featuring a series of representative examples of collaborative work – see separate article.

Ernest also says: “Be selective”, both parties, when it comes to right persons to collaborate with. Find the right people, both in south and north” (and the exchange) to work with. Both Magdalena Eriksson and Ernest Aryeetey believe that Global Sustainable Futures can be (is) the platform, and can play an important role to “keep good contacts and relations”.

Global Sustainable Futures (GSF) - a joint collaboration platform at Chalmers University of Technology and University of Gothenburg with the overall objective to develop new science-based knowledge, education and collaborations that contribute towards attaining Agenda 2030, as well as to the needs of society beyond 2030.

The unique niche of GSF is its focus on promoting, developing and strengthening collaboration between the two universities and partners in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). For more information, see the GSF webpage. For more information about GSF, please contact Magdalena Eriksson at: magdalena.eriksson@chalmers.se

Read the article of the parallel sessions here, connected to the half-day-webinar.


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