Limpopo signs R25m research deal with Univen

Thursday, September 8, 2011
Silas Nduvheni

Thohoyandou - The Limpopo provincial government has signed a R25 million research agreement with the University of Limpopo (UL) and the University of Venda (Univen) respectively.

The Limpopo Research Observatory (LRO) agreement will see Univen and UL produce research papers aimed at assisting the provincial government in its service delivery mandate in the next five years. 

"The provincial government will spend R5 million per year over a five-year period so that research programmes that will be conducted by [the two universities] can function effectively," said Univen's legal advisor Nanga Lidovho.

Univen Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Peter Mbati, signed the agreement with the general manager for strategic information management, monitoring, evaluation, research and development in the premier's office, Rudzani Murovhi.

Lidovho said the research would be in line with key objectives in government's programme of action towards service delivery.

"We will facilitate the undertaking of applied community interest research to advise government regarding the provincial government's service delivery mandate. We want to develop indicators and benchmarks for fast tracking rural development progress in the province," he said.

He added that the LRO would help enhance and consolidate partnerships with institutions of higher learning and key role players in research, development and innovation.

"Academics and post-graduate students will be hired to conduct outreach research in the communities that will help government to deliver services based on communities' priorities," Lidovho said.

Mbati said it was overwhelming to see Univen play an important role in institutional research meant for rural development.

"I hope the researchers will be able to fully involve rural communities and come out with a solid research based on analysis and proper consultation with rural communities," said Mbati.

UL spokesperson Kgalema Mohuba said the university's management signed their part of the agreement last week.

"The agreement entails the same mandate with that signed with Univen. We anticipate a great shift in research development from the two universities and UL is ready to play its role in helping government deliver," said Mohuba.

Murovhi, who is also a part of National Planning and Monitoring Minister Trevor Manuel's National Planning Commission, said the agreement was the beginning of greater things for both the provincial government and communities they serve. - BuaNews

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