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Region not doing enough research, says academic

Jamaica Observer

Region not doing enough research, says academic

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa, deputy principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, says Jamaica and the Caribbean region are not doing well in terms of research and development.

Professor Kahwa, speaking at the Jamaica Observer’s Press Club Thursday, said the area is facing a “serious challenge”.

This he said is as a result of “our industries not doing sufficient research in development”, which he said the United Nations has attested and likened to as a serious challenge – one the UWI is trying to address.

“We are not doing very well as a country, or as a region, when it comes to research and development; we are not putting in as a country, our investments into research and development to the extent that it requires to produce the benefits that all of us agree we need for our industries [and] for creating new jobs, including agriculture,” the professor told editors and reporters today.

He said the agreed international benchmark for investment in research is about one per cent, citing that if developing countries are not investing about one per cent of their GDP on research for development, it is going to be very difficult to generate the knowledge needed.

“Our region spends… I would say less than one per cent, and therefore our research institutions around the country do require an infusion of resources to do what they should be able to do,” he continued.

The university’s deputy principal said that what the university has embarked on, through its research days, is to produce research work that has the potential to impact the nation economically as well as health-wise, among other things.

He said what it also does is to encourage students to develop business ideas which will further result in job creation, which directly influences positive development.

UWI Research Days is expected to take place from February 9 to 11 at the Mona Campus in St Andrew. (Jamaica Observer)

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