Call for reassessment of research and more funding

Researchers in Senegal have called for a reassessment of research, including the creation of a central research system, and for more state funding to enable them to achieve their objectives.

These were among conclusions of a debate organised by higher education and research union Sudes-ESR on “Research and National Research Centres: What directions should Senegal take?”, Le Soleil of Dakar reported from a press conference following the debate.

The participants agreed that with scientific research playing an essential role in the economic and social development of the country there was a need to establish a system exclusively devoted to research, modelled on France’s national scientific research centre, the CNRS.

For the scientists, promoting research should mean setting up multidisciplinary public and private organisations dedicated to research, and they called for action to contribute to the national research effort and development of technologies, reported L’Express.

It said that most important was the link between the different sectors and research organisations, and quoted Professor Cheikhou Sylla, who said: “That means the democratisation of research resources and researchers’ academic freedom. Development of fundamental research alongside so-called applied research is strongly to be hoped for.

“We call for more funds to be allocated to research.”

Another participant, Cheikhou Bécaye Guèye, recognised that efforts had been made to improve scientific research, “but in a disorganised way”, reported L’Express.

Among other conclusions, the researchers called for a sector-specific policy dedicated to research; improvement of laboratories and working conditions for researchers; greater recognition of the value of research results and their diffusion; and diversification of sources of research funding.

Pascal Janot, a CNRS researcher, said it was necessary to set up research and technological development programmes according to the choices and priorities decided by researchers, reported L’Express.

* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.