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Regional Research Programs: Case Study of the African Energy Policy Research Network (AFREPREN/FWD)


Stephen Karekezi

Executive Summary

The Sida Conference on “Regional Research Collaboration” addressed three major issues, namely:

  •  Regional research programs: Examination of the rationale and added value of regional research programs as opposed to purely national research projects. 

  • Regional research training: Assessment of the comparative advantage of regional research training initiatives.

  • Regional research councils: Review of various regional-level research councils involved in award of research grants and discuss the added benefits that regional-level mechanisms bring to the research grant distribution and management.

This paper largely dwells on the first issue - the rationale of regional research programs. The second and third issues on regional training and regional grant management facilities are not addressed in depth. Other keynote papers presented at the Sida Conference addressed the other two issues in greater detail. 

Using the case study of the African Energy Policy Research Network (AFREPREN/FWD), the paper examines the “raison d’ętre” of regional research initiatives and attempts to identify the added value of regional-level research initiatives. It also highlights the comparative advantages of regional-level research programs in contrast to national-based research activities.

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