African Researchers have been charged to contextualize western theories to solve existing local problems. This call was made by Professor Anthony Olorunnisola, a professor of Communications at the Pennsylvania State University. Olorunnisola made this appeal at an online research seminar for doctoral candidates of the Department of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. The seminar tagged The Interface between Theories and Research is part of the series of seminars for doctoral students of the department. He charged the young scholars not to be brainwashed by extensive exposure to western theories whose context of emergence is notably different from the African background.
He challenged African researchers to reflect on the western theories and contextualize their assumptions to fit into the window of non western environment. He warned of the tendency of western theories to mislead non-western researchers if a second look is not taken at them and as such bend them to reflect local context and realities. Prof. Olorunnisola charged African researchers to be knowledgeable about the local problems they are investigating so that they could challenge assumptions in literature and the western theories and make groundbreaking discoveries. It is this that would ensure that African researchers are able to make meaningful contributions to global discussion of knowledge.
He enjoined African researchers to query literature and tease out questions that would yield both the right theories and appropriate methodologies to carry out scientific investigations that would help solve the myriads of problems on the continent.
In his own speech, the Convener, Prof. Ayo Ojebode, posited that the aim of the seminar is to strengthen the capabilities of the attendees to do research that would not only speak to the problems on the continent but also contribute meaningfully to global scientific discussion. He enjoined the participants to make use of the takeaways from the programme to improve their research life. He then thanked Prof. Olorunnisola for accepting to provide mentorship and build capacity of the participants through the training.