The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), is set to encourage policy research to promote economic growth in West Africa.
In a statement issued on the website of the UNECA on Friday, the commission inaugurated a seminar on Wednesday in Accra.
It was the second edition of its Think-Tanks and Experts Seminar on Population Dynamics for Development in West Africa, which opened on Wednesday and would close on Saturday.
The seminar had as its theme, “Bridging the Research-Policy Gap to Accelerate the Demographic Dividend in West Africa.”
The meeting aimed to accelerate progress toward the demographic dividend by stimulating policy-oriented research and translation to strengthen evidence-based policy and planning processes in West Africa.
The objective of the meeting was to engage researchers and discuss their roles in addressing policy needs in the sub-region.
Another objective was to deepen the survey results and facilitate knowledge sharing and peer mentoring.
Furthermore, it was aimed at facilitating experience sharing, peer mentoring, and collaboration among researchers to promote evidence-based policy-making.
It also sought to enhance the link among the ECA Sub-Regional Office for West Africa (ECA-SRO/WA), knowledge producers, and policymakers in the sub-region.
Director of the ECA-SRO/WA, Ngone Diop said the major challenge was to make good use of the powerful and important results of research on population dynamics.
Diop said that the purpose was to inform and guide the choice of economic, social and governance policies, and also resources allocation.
“We need to do more, better, and faster, that is the key message coming out of our substantive survey of 164 researchers.
“The results of which helped us identify and understand the missing link between research and policy, research and action, and the fact that research results are only marginally taken into account in the formulation of policies and programmes.
“In this case, those aiming at accelerating the capture of the demographic dividend.”
The four-day seminar is being attended by think-tanks, universities, research institutes, individual researchers, and intergovernmental organisations at the forefront of research in the West African sub-region.