-Says World Bank Country Director Leshchenko
The World Bank Group Country Director, Larisa Leshchenko, who spoke recently at the honors symposium that formed part of the University of Liberia’s 98th commencement convocation, said research and development have become the most enduring and effective means of boosting sustainable economic development and re-enforcing a country’s competitiveness.
Addressing the third research symposium, Ms. Leshchenko said with research, sustainable development is boosted in the face of rapid growth taking place between industries, countries and people in the world.
The symposium was held under the theme: “Research, the Gateway to Finding Solutions to Critical National and Global Issues.”
Leshchenko said the concept of sustainable development requires balancing economic, societal and environmental considerations in the pursuit of development and an improved quality of life.
She underscored the important roles played by stakeholders in achieving sustainable development, such as governments, businesses, research and academic institutions, the media, and other organizations.
According to the World Bank official, sustainability includes inter-generational and gender equity, just and peaceful societies, social tolerance, environmental preservation and restoration, poverty alleviation and natural resource conservation.
She outlined essential tools for achieving sustainable development as: Improving the quality of basic research; reorienting existing research programs to address sustainable development; developing public awareness and understanding; and providing training for all sectors of society, mainly public and civil.
The World Bank Liberia Country Manager said the theme of the symposium clearly lays out the foundation for arriving at solutions to critical problems underpinning the growth and development of societies.
Citing many European nations as an example, the World Bank Country Manager said universities and technical colleges train students of science, economics and business management in skills that help to build more sustainable societies.
Programs such as Peace Research, Human Rights Research, Environmental Research and “Youth Entrepreneur” schemes are carried out in many academic institutions, she noted.
She said the World Bank has a policy on Access to Information, which “has enabled the organization to become a global leader in transparency and has made groundbreaking change in how the World Bank makes information available to the public.”
She said the bank regularly produces a lot of reports, analytical works and other knowledgeable materials spanning several sectors of development in society.
Meanwhile, the World Bank Liberia Country Manager has congratulated all honors program graduates of the various academic programs at the University of Liberia.
Ms. Leshchenko said they have distinguished themselves by exceptional academic performance, thus enabling them to participate in the symposium.