List of Abstracts
VOLUME 4, NUMBER 2, DECEMBER 2007
TITLE: Knowledge Production in Contemporary African Society: Lessons for Universities
Author: William Boateng
The paper examines knowledge production models and the relevant for universities in contemporary African society. In the process it provides a theoretical benchmark for discussing and understanding the challenges associated with knowledge production in contemporary universities. It sets off with definitions and characteristics of Modes 1 and 2 knowledge production models. This is followed by an analysis of how research is approached and acknowledged in contemporary universities. The interaction model of knowledge utilization is then used as a benchmark in prescribing a research agenda for contemporary universities. Such an agenda should balance the traditional interest of universities (production of scientific knowledge) on one hand, and the contemporary interest of societies (application of knowledge) on the other. It is recommended, among others, that African universities enhance their participation in commissioned or externally funded research to complement science-push research. At the same time, universities are cautioned against excessive fascination in academic capitalism which has the tendency to divert the interests of academics from their traditional roles of teaching and knowledge-driven research towards conducting more applied/commissioned research for industries and other external sources.
TITLE: Creating Enabling Environments for Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) to Contribute to Nigerian Development.
Authors: Daniel Eseme Idowu Gberevbie and Mercy Isiave-Ogbari
It has been observed that small and medium scale enterprise ( SME) are the bedrock of a nation’s industrial and technological advancement. Hence, creating an enabling environment for SMEs to thrive will result in development. This paper examines the enabling environment with particular reference to good governance as a basis for SMEs to contribute towards a national development. The analysis is informed by primary data from interviews conducted in Nigeria and secondary data from relevant journals, books, Internet and newspapers. The paper concludes that for the dream of Nigeria’s industrial and technological advancement to materialize, the Federal Government should address the issues of inadequate finding and the mode of funding of SMEs as well as the provision of adequate infrastructure to boost the expansion of SMEs. In addition, the government should create an enabling environment that is free of insecurity in order to motivate both local and foreign investors to contribute meaningfully toward the establishment and expansion of SMEs. By so doing it will be possible to advance the Nigerian national dream of becoming an industrial and technological giant.
TITLE: Factors Influemcing Commercial Charcoal Production in the West Mamprusi District of Ghana
AUTHOR: Jefferey Shekmuker Makain
Charcoal production is increasingly becoming an important trade in the northern regions of Ghana in spite of its implication for deforestation and natural resources depletion. In the West Mamprusi District of northern Ghana, charcoal production is a major dry season activity in many communities. This paper examines factors influencing the increasing rate of charcoal production in the district from 1980 to 2005. Research instruments employed were: purposive and simple random sampling, direct observation; transect walks, stump count, focus group discussion, key informant and structured interviews. The study reveals that local and national organizational structures exist that monitor the natural environment in the District; community members are aware of the environmental impact of their activities, and that charcoal production is a livelihood activity of the people in the District. Findings from the research revealed that charcoal production was a full time occupation for many females (i.e., 65%); major buyers were from urban towns in Northern and Upper East Regions; charcoal production was a major source of income and livelihood activities in the district and the work of the Forestry Commission’s monitoring was effective in the forest-reserved areas. It concludes therefore that existing institutional structures have failed to implement regulations to control the effects.