The need for African leaders to invest in policy relevant research was the message that resonated with invitees at APHRC’s recent dinner celebration. The dinner was held at Serena Hotel, Nairobi, following the honor of the United Nations Population Award to APHRC, for the center’s outstanding contribution in population research, policy and impact. The event attracted APHRC’s partners and various policy makers, and urged them to push for the use of evidence-based research to guide policies and practice in Africa.
In his keynote speech, Dr. Khama Rogo of the International Finance Corporation said, “African governments need to co-invest in research that makes a difference, otherwise, we’ll have the same decisions made year in, year out.”
While congratulating APHRC, Dr. Rogo acknowledged the impact the organization has had on policy changes in Kenya and Africa. APHRC has collaborated with the Kenyan Ministries of Health and Education in providing evidence to formulate policies. For example, APHRC’s evidence was used to highlight the poor reproductive health of adolescents in Kenya. An APHRC researcher is in the Ministry of Health’s Technical Working Group which has a mandate to assess the necessity for a comprehensive National Health Adolescent Policy.
Such contributions presents APHRC as an asset to African governments as a partnership with the institution will definitely ensure that policies are relevant to the people and also solutions to problems will be timely and will have a lasting impact following rigorous research.
“Today, African governments have the opportunity to turn things around. This year, we shift out focus away from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals. African leaders have the opportunity to, in just 15 years, help write a different narrative for every boy and girl born today.” said Dr. Alex Ezeh, APHRC’s Executive Director.
The award ceremony was on June 26 at UN Headquarters in New York. The award sets APHRC apart as a research institution that strives to reach and even exceed global standards. It is also a sure testament that the organization is making a difference in the continent and the impact is being felt globally.
The support during this event was overwhelming as the attendance was higher than expected. This goes to show that the work that APHRC does resonates well with many people and those in attendance felt that the journey that has brought the institution to this point and the sacrifice that those who’ve served in the institution put in was worth it.
The event provided an opportunity for networking, reunited academics who’ve worked together in the past, and provided opportunity to create new partnerships. APHRC’s Executive Director, reiterated the institution’s commitment to the vision of making sure that the people of Africa enjoy the highest quality of life and said that APHRC’s work will not be done until this dream is fulfilled.