THE modern world today is moving at a supersonic speed from its native era. Our world has continued to transform into different characteristics, either shaped by manís own making or outside forces that man has little or no control over.
From unintended consequences and natural misfortunes such as climate change to occurrences like unstable economic trends, man has persisted to pursue a planet that is advancing in all spheres.
Spiritually, financially, economically, physically and socially, the pursuit for a world that we can all understand and control with an open and free mind has never been more tenacious than in the modern era.
We should understand everything that is within our reach. We should piece together the puzzles of this world and let them appear into something more meaningful so as to make our world even better.
Zambia, which is now a democracy and a part of a better dynamic world, has a duty to contribute to the never-ending process of finding that proper balance between its peopleís needs and its general quest for development.
There is only one way of achieving that, and the answer lies in the constant requirement of its academicians to apply vigour in the area of exhaustive research on issues that directly and indirectly affect its citizenry.
A study on research has indicated that universities remain the prime source of knowledge and innovation. That is why governments the world over are trying to ensure that adequate investments in higher education systems are made in order to attain both quality teaching and research.
The timing for President Edgar Lunguís challenge to the countryís highest institution of learning, the University of Zambia (UNZA) to play a key role in national development through research studies is perfect as Zambia needs to move at par with the rest of the world as a means to develop.
As stated by the President, many countries that were once poor have now developed due to research. President Lungu said this in a speech read for him by Gender Minister Nkandu Luo during UNZAís Golden Jubilee celebrations this week.
An institution like UNZA surely needs to be in the driving seat when it comes to research as this would lead other learning establishments in providing an expansion of knowledge and discoveries of new ways of handling different issues affecting different areas of society.
Areas such as the curbing of new diseases, poverty which is also found even in most developed countries, economic gymnastics and agriculture need extensive research studies so as to find effective breakthroughs.
The challenges of global warming can also best be understood and determined locally through means of research. As our country tries to shift its weight from copper dependence to agriculture, it is unavoidable to embrace the idea of research studies in order to successfully overturn the mining-to-agriculture tables.
With the advancement of technology, learning institutions like UNZA should be well equipped with all necessary research tools to avoid leaving any stone unturned.
Innovations by the university should be influenced through research studies and its expert academicians who should strengthen the institutionís research capacity and other ways of knowledge production.
We hope, we want and we believe that UNZA, which in recent times has been synonymous with unpleasant incidences of student rioting, would now take a sharp turn and focus on the Presidentís cry-out to reinforce its research studies.
In future, the nation should not just look to UNZA for research but aim even higher by establishing a university that would exclusively be for research purposes.