The New Times (Kigali)

5 December 2012

Rwanda: Scholars Train in Scientific Research

OVER thirty research trainers from higher institutions of learning and research institutions are undergoing a three day training on effective methodologies to access research material.

The training being conducted by Kigali Institute of Education in collaboration with Research4Life.

United Nations Environment Programme Officer, Mohamed Atani, said the purpose of the training is to enable researchers, scientists, lecturers and students to access affordable scientific information.

"Research in health, agriculture and the environment is better informed when it is based on the most recent, high quality and relevant scientific knowledge. Research4Life programmes offer the most comprehensive source of information to help the research community in Rwanda to conduct research that is responsive to the needs of people and sustainable development," Atani told participants at KIE where the training is taking place.

Research4Life works to enhance teaching, research and policy-making of the many thousands of students, faculty, scientists, and medical specialists, focusing on Health, Agriculture, and environment in the developing world.

Anani said that developing countries are weak in terms of readership and their research is still facing challenges.

"The weakness is in all developing countries, not only in Rwanda. There is generally a problem of access the information," he noted.

According to Atani the UN has injected more money to provide access to accurate information.

"UN and its partners are committed to support us. We focus on building local capacity to be able to manage access to information," Atani assured the scholars.

"Access to up-to-date, good quality information available in international scientific journals should no longer be a challenge to researchers, lecturers and students in Rwanda," said Dr. Justin Chisenga, Knowledge and Information Management Officer from Food and Agriculture Organisation's Regional Office for Africa.

The director of KIE's library, Thierry Mbarubukeye, a participant said; "It will be an asset to get e- resources, we normally have physical libraries, having journals and other materials will be good," Mbarubukeye noted.

He added that getting e- journals and other materials will cut on the institution's spending.

Jean Pierre Niyonzima, a lecturer at Umutara Polytechnic in the faculty of agronomy said,

"As a lecturer I should provide quality education. The training will help me to train my colleagues. It will also help researchers to get accurate information instead of relying on old information. Also getting information from various sources is vital," said Niyonzima.

Research4Life is a public-private partnership of the WHO, FAO, UNEP, WIPO, Cornell and Yale Universities and the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers.

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