Research makes the world a better place to live. Had it not been for research findings, the whole world would have been a worse place to live. Through research, we have been able to explore numerous things in medicine, agriculture, education and beyond. Thanks to research findings we are also able to possess sophisticated technological achievements that enable us reach from one pole of the world to the other in hours, explore the universe and find a potentially safer planet to life.
Hoping to have such significant values in the society, University of Gondar Research and Community Service held the 27th Annual Research Conference entitled Research for Regional Development on March 24 and 25/2017. About 1000 distinguished guests, research experts and students from research institutes, universities and ministry offices took part in this great event.
Making a keynote speech, HE prof. Afework Kassu, State Minister, FDRE Science and Technology Minster, noted that although scientific research began about six decades ago in Ethiopia, involvement in the field is steadily moving. When compared with other countries, research cooperation and journal publications seem low in the country. The government is investing much capital on the field so that a sound change in the community can be achieved. The minister also noted that the beginnings seen in some universities such as University of Gondar are really promising but much more than this is expected, and the findings need to be implemented in the community.
Prof. Mersha Chane, Vice President for Research and Community Service, University of Gondar, said about 12 researches were assessed last year to check whether they reached the community or not; this year, about 24 researches will be presented for community dialogue. The professor also added that every institute and university lacks something in relation to research. The main objective of this conference is thus to fill this gap in discussion and to work cooperatively.
In this two days conference about 110 mega research projects have been presented by research experts in six parallel sessions at six halls. These research presentations were focusing on agricultural transformation, medicine and health, indigenous literature, education, economic issues, application of new technologies to improve the livelihood of the community.
As to the budget, before some years, about 6 million birr was allocated for research, but this year, it has increased to 34 million birr in the university. When compared with the previous years’ budget, this is really grand that can bring a change in the livelihood of the community.
Concerning recent changes with respect to research, Dr Desalegn Mengesha, President of University of Gondar, explained that the university is building many complexes for technology, health and agricultural research laboratories. The president also added, as it has been obviously done for the last consecutive years, the university has intended to use the findings of all these research projects which are relevant to the livelihood of the society in health, agriculture and capacity building aspects in community service outreach programs.