A delegation from the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) who are on working visit to UCC has called on the Vice-Chancellor at his office.
AERC is a major teaching and research organisation collaborating with the Department of Economics.
Each year, Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) students from the Department undertake elective courses in Nairobi for three months. The leader of the delegation, Dr. Innocent Matshe, who is the Director of Training at AERC, said the Department of Economics is a member of the AERC, therefore they decided to visit and senisitise senior management and final year students of the department about the activities and opportunities on offer by the group.
The visit was also intended to take stock of AERC funded projects and review the existing Memorandum of Understanding. Dr. Matshe said the time has come to route the University in major economic networks and circles to bring in more research collaborations and funding to support the training of much needed professionals in the economic field.
Dr. Matshe indicated that there were over 4,000 researchers in their network, for that matter to help strengthen economic decision making, efforts should be geared towards research and training. According to him currently there is an amount of $10bn available to be accessed but due to lack of capacity in sourcing funds, the money was still sitting idle. “We need to build capacity where it is lacking, we have to do it together, because together we are stronger and can succeed faster”.
Responding the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ampiah called on the Department of Economics to try and bring other departments like the School of Agriculture to close the capacity gaps by building their capacity.
Prof. Ampiah urged the department to make their courses more friendly to get more students to enroll. “You have to dispel the notion that one has to be of some caliber before one could do economics”.
“We can build our own capacity if we pull our resources together, we can build something that cuts across”. He called on the leadership of the department to nurture it into a more international status by changing their modus of operandi from within. “Capacity building should start from within and transferred elsewhere. Break the shell and have more networks”.