Under the theme “Research in Africa: Concepts, Issues, Challenges” a round table organized by the African Students Research Initiative (ASRI), brought together African post-graduate students at the Kenya Embassy in Paris on Friday 21st May 2010. Countries represented at the conference-debate were Cameroon, Mali, Senegal, Kenya and France. Also in attendance were representatives from the Kenyan Permanent Delegation to UNESCO and the Kenyan Embassy in Paris.
In his welcome speech to participants, Kenyan Ambassador to France, H.E. Mr Elkanah Odembo, stated that there was lack of research in Africa, partly because the best of Africa’s researchers find opportunities abroad which they choose to exploit. He also noted that the majority of interventions in Africa were carried out without research based facts and they are therefore not as effective as they could be. Finally he urged the participants to consider private sector funding for their respective research projects given that public funding is difficult to obtain. In this regard, he stressed that private sector interests had to be factored in research projects.
Participants welcomed the announcement by Mrs Eunice Sanya Pelini that the call for papers for the first edition of “The African Students’ Journal’ was open. Mrs Pelini, a Kenyan PhD student and founder of ASRI said that the open access journal aimed at fostering communication between students and promoting excellence in interdisciplinary research.