Nicholas Ozor

Improving the Relevance of University Training to Labour Market Demands in Africa

"This policy brief aims to inform policymakers, universities and the productive sector in African countries best policy practices and reforms that would strengthen the relationship between universities and the productive sector, while re-echoing the relevance of universities to the productive sector and for national socio-economic development. Universities in Africa have a crucial role to play in producing knowledge, innovations and graduates to meet the demands of the productive sector and to address emerging socio-economic challenges facing Africa. However, efforts to establish universities as dominant knowledge and innovation hubs for the productive sector is being hampered by a number of critical factors, which include: low investment in research and development (R&D); lack of centers for excellence, and innovations in African universities; lack of internship and mentorship opportunities for students in the productive sector; and poor networking between the productive sector and the knowledge sector. It is very clear that, establishing strong linkages between universities and the productive sector has enormous mutual benefits and holds the potential to propel capacity development as well as social economic development. There is a growing need for African universities to understand the dynamics and need of the evolving Africa society and adjust it curricula, research priorities and operations to meet the need of the productive sector in the 21st century."

Developing Policies for Biodiversity Informatics in sub-Saharan Africa

"In Africa, biodiversity provides a fundamental role in economic livelihood and societal wellbeing. Africa boasts of a sizeable proportion of the world’s natural resources and biodiversity, yet this fundamental natural asset upon which life depends is under severe threat. With increasing natural resource extraction for economic growth, land degradation, urbanization and weak institutional arrangements, African countries are experiencing rapid rate of biodiversity depletion. Even more worrying is the climate change phenomenon that presents a new development threat to biodiversity and the future of majority of African rural population whose livelihoods directly depend on biodiversity."

Innovative Practices and Policies for Promoting Biodiversity Informatics in Sub-Saharan Africa

"A Major challenge for the emerging field of biodiversity information is to develop infrastructure that allows the effective coordination of available data and information and knowledge on Earth's biological diversity to address issues relating to the natural environmental system upon which life depends. Biodiversity data, information and knowledge are critical to society for informed decision-making and formulation of policies that facilitate sustainable management of natural ecosystem, sustenance of human health, maintenance of economic stability and improvement of human life quality."

Using the Land Potential Knowledge System (LandPKS) Mobile Technology for Agricultural Productivity and Resilience

"Africa’s continued agricultural growth over the last couple of years has come from land expansion rather than increased productivity. However, available agricultural lands are rapidly diminishing due to urbanization, while soil fertility continue to decline due to land degradation, poor farming practices, soil erosion, and the impact of climate change. There are growing concerns to rethink current land use mechanisms, and devise innovative strategies that ensure that available land under agricultural production becomes more productive and sustainable. Efforts to achieve increased food productivity will come not only from agricultural intensification and land conversion production strategies but will require access to accurate, robust, and timely information and knowledge of land potential to support decision making at the various scales of the agricultural system. By empowering farmers with information via access to modern technology, they will be in a better position to innovate and effectively change the potential of their land through farm practices that enhance productivity as well as increase crop and land resilience to variable and changing climatic conditions."

Mainstreaming Gender in the National Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy of Kenya

This policy brief aims to influence mainstreaming of gender in the national STI policy of Kenya. Reports show that Kenya is still far from realizing gender equity and equality in practice. This policy brief proposes a specific policy statement on mainstreaming gender and identifies strategic actions for the implementation of the policy statement.

Strengthening Linkages Between Policy Research and Policy Making for Sustainable Development in Africa

"This book volume presents key papers on the subject drawn from the conference presentations, workshops and the commissioned papers. All the authors present a common position on the need to strengthen the links amongst the disparate but mutually re-inforcing arms of successful policy development and implementation cycles for more inclusive growth in all economies. The challenges and consequences of African researchers, private sector actors and civil society actors being left at the fringes of policy-making processes in Africa at both national and regional levels were described as dare for sustainable development on the continent. It was noteworthy that African policies are seldom based on empirical evidences either garnered through consultations amongst citizens or through policy research by African experts. Researches conducted in Africa by Africans are seldom used for policy-making leaving many policies poorly socialised within African realities. On the other hand, policymakers face the challenge of relying on Consultants from outside the continent be it from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United nations Agencies, and other global institutions and networks of excellence as most research conducted in Africa by African institutions and experts are largely informed by the priorities of the funding partners, mostly from the global North. It is therefore not suprising to find that the gaps between policies and implementation of the same remain wide and increasing in the continent. The challenges are complex and vicious in nature but there is no gainsaying the need to strengthen the linkages between policy research, policymaking, and policy implementation if Africa's struggle to achieve sustainable development is to be realised."

A Review of the Kenyan Policy Environment for Off-grid Solar PV

Energy has been identified as one of the foundations and enablers of the socio-economic transformation visualized by Kenya in its Vision 2030 development blueprint. However many Kenyans still do not have access to affordable energy which limits socio-economic opportunities for development. This paper explores the policy environment of solar home systems in Kenya with a view of understanding the enablers and inhibitors to the development of the technology in the country.

Adapting the Innovation Histories Method for A Workshop on Solar Home Systems Uptake in Kenya

"This briefing reflects on the adaptation of the Innovation Histories method for our research project on the uptake of solar home systems (SHSs) in Kenya. It provides an overview of the method itself, how we adapted it to fit with the aims and theoretical perspectives of our research, and it reflects on our practical experiences of this process, including how we might do it differently in future. Our aim is to provide a practical point of reference for other researchers considering applying this method, particularly in the context of policy-oriented research."