Research Said an Obligation rather than a Luxury for the Developing World
Conducting research cannot be a luxury for those of us who belong to the developing world. It is an obligation; and in fact, a compelling task that would enable us to find irreversible scientific solution to our numerous challenges. This statement was made by Dr. Birhanu Sisay, Senior Deputy President, Responsible for Gerji Main Campus Academic Activities, Unity University, at the opening of the 17th Annual Multidisciplinary Research Conference, on June 22, 2018.
Speaking at the plenary of the day-long Conference held in the Conference Hall of MIDROC Technology Group Corporate Centre, Dr. Birhanu dwelt at length on elaborating the concept of research, whereby he pointed out that research is often defined as “a proven academic tool with which to identify our problems and to find scientific solutions to our various outstanding predicaments.” He further noted, “In simple parlance, research is a means of finding answers to our many lingering questions and pestering queries. Research is a laborious scholastic undertaking, which demands excessive time and attention of careful educational inquiry that goes deep into systematic investigation.”
The Senior Deputy President further went into the reality in Ethiopia. In this connection, he underlined, “As a developing country, research is for Ethiopia, a sine qua non academic exercise that can help to advance our overall national development efforts. As such, it must be accorded a significant and uninterrupted attention in our institutions of higher learning.” Furthermore, he emphatically noted the role of research and teaching as the two important duties and responsibilities of institutions of higher learning, and said, “I am happy to note here that the affinity of these two academic functions is being excessively recognized in our country both by public and private institutions of higher learning.”
Speaking about the situation at Unity University, Dr. Birhanu underscored, “I have to say, this is what we are trying to do here, at Unity University.” With this remark, he briefly noted the activities of the Research and Publications Office (RLO) of the University. He said, “Unity University has long recognised the importance of the twin academic activities of teaching and research, in order to attain its objective of making the institution a “center of academic excellence”. In this connection, he made note of the establishment of the RLO, which is entrusted with the task of organising the Annual Multidisciplinary Research Conference, preparing the procedures to carry out research activities, and publish publications of research outputs.
Dr. Birhanu touched upon the multidisciplinary nature of the Annual Conference, which dealt with a multitude of disciplines such as education, health, agriculture and climate change, business and industry, and cross-cutting issues that deal with highly-diversified subject matters. He further stated that the first Multidisciplinary Research Conference was held in 2002; and since then, 16 such Conferences were conducted, and more than 296 papers had been presented by “veteran and young researchers” from 30 higher learning institutions.Moreover, he stated that the research outputs had been published in 22 issues of “The Ethiopian Journal of Business and Development” and seven issues of the University’s publication Proceedings.
In conclusion, the Senior Deputy President talked about the horizontal and vertical expansion being undertaken by the University, which he said, “is necessary to contribute its share to the country’s ever-increasing demand for highly-educated (qualified) human resource”. He added, “Our educational philosophy is supporting the efforts made in this country to achieve quality education in the coming years and decades so that our national development efforts stand on all-round campaign and achievement objective.”
Following the Opening Session, there were two plenary presentations on “Ethiopian Economic Growth Analysis”, and “Determinants of Commercial Bank of Ethiopia Deposit”. The presentations were followed by heated discussion and contribution of constructive comments, which were duly acknowledged and addressed by the presenters. Before going out for coffee and tea, the participants were informed that there were four syndicate rooms where participants could go after the coffee and tea break, depending on their respective areas of interest.
At the closing of the Conference, Dr. Arega Yirdaw, President of Unity University handed out Certificates to the presenters. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Arega forwarded his reflection on some of the papers presented.In general, he said, “If you want to say something, make it simple and usable. Address the reality of the country. Do not dwell at length on the Methodology. Focus on the relevance of the topic. The recommendations should be implementable. Be serious and careful.” Also speaking about participants, he said, “Participants’ comments should be to add value.”
In conclusion, he thanked all those who contributed towards the success of the Conference – Presenters, Chairs, Participants, and Organisers.
It was learnt that a total of 22 papers were presented at the 17th Annual Multidisciplinary Research Conference. The papers were clustered into five categories: Education, Health, Agriculture and Climate Change, Business and Industry, and Cross-Cutting Issues.