Expert urges African researchers, scientists to focus on accessibility of funds

DR Akanimo Odon, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Lancaster University, England, has called on African Researchers and Innovators to focus on gaining accessibility to research funding instead of lamenting its paucity.

He made this call on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the 5th Congress of the African Council for Scientific Research and Innovation (ASRIC), holding in Mombasa, Kenya.

Odon, who doubles as the Chair, ASRIC Diaspora, United Kingdom chapter, urged scientists, researchers and innovators of African descent to work towards accessing funds instead of complaining about unavailability of funds.

He said: “Access to finance is the ability of individuals or enterprises to obtain financial aid or grants, but most African scientists are not even aware of such opportunities.

“If you ask an average African researcher or innovator now what their limiting factor is, the first answer would be lack of money.

“I disagree with their answer because the funds are available for different kinds of research purposes, it is how they can access them which should be addressed.

“Personally, on my laptop I have over 100 organisations that fund research in my field.”

Odon also lamented the lack of the right framework and understanding of systems among researchers when it comes to accessing funds

“Most times, some African researchers rush to prepare and submit research proposals because they suddenly bumped into it and they are unprepared.

“How can you need money for your research and not know how to get it when it is available, but you don’t know how to go about it.

“When they bump into the call for grants, they rush their proposals and submit a badly done job,’’ he said.

Odon also urged African researchers and scientists to be strategic, prepared and intentional about finding funding opportunities. (NAN)