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Only few African countries invest more than 1% of GDP in Research dev’t – Prof LenkaBula

The Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of South Africa (UNISA), Professor Puleng LenkaBula has stressed that only very few African countries invest more than 1% of…

The Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of South Africa (UNISA), Professor Puleng LenkaBula has stressed that only very few African countries invest more than 1% of their GDP in Research, Development, and Innovation (R&DI).

LenkaBula, who stated this while delivering the 12th convocation lecture of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) on Friday in Abuja, said: “”The pan-African university must influence higher rates investment in R&DI and we also need to reclaim our research agenda from foreign lands.

“The pan-African university must reimagine questions about who we teach, what we teach, where we teach, how we teach, why we teach, when we teach, will continue change; and so will similar questions apply to learning and research aspects. For example, there are massive convergences and divergences in the services industry which are influenced by knowledge, experiences and pedagogies across countries, regions, cultures, and histories,” she said.

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Speaking on the theme; “Volatility and Opportunities in Higher Education,” the Professor of Social Ethics and the first female VC of UNISA also urged African universities to deal with legacies of colonialism, racism and apartheid, and cultural imperialism, from curriculum transformation to development of infrastructure, partnerships, and sustainable funding.

She said the pan-African university must, out of necessity, help Africa to achieve Goal 2 of Agenda 2063, “where we will have ‘well-educated citizens and skills revolution underpinned by science, technology and innovation.”

“If we are to ensure that ‘no one is left behind’ in this century, especially under the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs) we must make sure that all the human and social constructed structures of exclusion, discrimination and dehumanisation of women, children, differently-abled people, and the nationally oppressed people across the world are totally demolished even in the knowledge generation and dissemination processes,” she said

She further said the Pan-African University must possess a progressive and relevant pedagogy that returns knowledge to the people, the real originators of knowledge, the people who inspire and provoke them to think, dream and do!

“The university of the future must return to its past to rediscover its ontology, epistemology, and pedagogy. In other words, it must be inspired by the past as much as it is by the idea of futures, she added.

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