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January 2017 Vol. 5 No.1
 

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Merit Research Journal of Art, Social Science and Humanities (ISSN: 2350-2258) Vol. 5(1) pp. 001-007, January 2017

Copyright © 2017 Merit Research Journals


Original Research Article

The utility of research conferences in Socio-economic transformation processes in Africa: Perspectives from researchers

 
 
 

Gwata Rudo Grace (PhD)

 

Project/Programme Management Consultant and Researcher

E-mail: rggwata@gmail.com

Accepted January 27, 2017

 

Abstract

 

Knowledge and information have emerged among the most important resources for development and socio-economic transformation in the global economy, with the related production and transfer also becoming significant productive forces. Consequently, research conferences have proved to have great potential in enhancing the transfer of such knowledge and information, facilitate the analysis of problems as well as help to develop the necessary expertise. However, there appeared to be limited evidence, if any, regarding the contribution of conferences to socio-economic transformation in Africa and other developing countries. This study considered the value of research conferences from the perspectives, based on experiences, of researchers and conference presenters. The objectives were to determine the utility of conferences to the processes relating to socio-economic transformation as well as identify strategies to enhance such utility. Premised upon a qualitative approach, data for this study were gathered through a survey, observation as well as a review of print and electronic documentation on the benefits and utility of conferences. The survey was conducted through questionnaires, sent via email, to presenters from earlier research conferences hosted by various academic institutions including universities and research councils. Analysis of data showed that the benefits of conferences were not always fully realized in Africa leading to limitations in their utility to the process of socio-economic transformation. Discussion of the findings was based on literature on conferences, development, knowledge management and socio-economic transformation. The study concluded that the way conferences in Africa were organized and run diminished their contribution to the socio-economic process. Strategies for improvement in organizing and holding conferences were suggested.

Keywords: Conference, Information, Knowledge, Policy formulation, Socio-economic transformation
 

 

 
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
                         

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