Wednesday, 15, July, 2020

On Thursday 28th May, at 15:00, a webinar, was hosted by the Center for Policy Research and Outreach (CPRO) at Westminster International University in Tashkent (WIUT).

Over 110 people participated. Each person was interested in supporting Uzbekistan’s development. Presentations with interactive discussion, were given by CPRO Senior Fellows from Italy, Ethiopia, and Uzbekistan. Each shared initial research findings and recommendations for policy and practice.

Rauf Salahojaev, Senior Research Fellow at CPRO of WIUT

Science and human capital as drivers of innovative economic growth of Uzbekistan

In line with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan the Uzbekistan’s Innovative Development Strategy for 2019-2021 and the Road Map for its implementation was approved. The main goal of the strategy is "the development of human capital as the main factor enhancing Uzbekistan’s competitiveness and innovation”. Paragraph №4 of the Roadmap, outlines the Strategy is increasing the number of academic publications in international peer-reviewed scientific journals. This implies the government should increase monetary and non-monetary motives for the younger population to engage in research and science. Indeed, existing data suggests the number of researchers per million population is significantly and positively correlated with its Global Innovation Index scores.

Etenesh Asfaw, Senior Research Fellow at CPRO of WIUT

Policy issues in Uzbekistan's Agriculture: Inclusiveness

The presentation has two key messages. First, agri-food value-chains have the potential to address rural youth unemployment and slow down rural out-migration. The presentation highlights why, and how to address the problem. Addressing the problem enables the country to harness the growing youth force, with 60 % under the age of 30. Second, small Dehqan farms that produce 70 % of all agricultural output in Uzbekistan deserve targeted public support to increase national agricultural productivity and rural livelihoods. Small farms are important to the economy of Uzbekistan and face specific challenges and priority ways to support small farms.

Fabrizio Vielmini, Senior Research Fellow at CPRO of WIUT

Post-COVID-19 tourism recovery in Uzbekistan: leveraging cultural and internal resources

Following the global pandemic, this presentation analyzes the impact that the crisis is having on tourism. The crisis should first of all be apprehended as an opportunity to enlarge the scope of touristic activities in Uzbekistan. The forced suspension of activities can be used to strengthen gaps in what tourism can offer and, specifically, develop linkages with rural areas which until now have been only marginally active in organizing leisure activities. An initial reorientation of tourism to the internal market will create the demand for mobilizing resources in the countryside leveraging Uzbekistan’s reputation for both delicious food and remarkable cultural heritage. This will support livelihoods and incomes in the countryside.

Results

The webinar shared learning and strengthened cooperation among researchers and their institutions. CPRO is one of the newest think tanks in the country and we were honored to bring together such a group. More research webinars are planned for the future.

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