ECOWAS: Stakeholders Meet In Nigeria To Collaborate On Technology
Experts on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) from among the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have convened in Abuja, Nigeria’s Capital for the maiden Edition of the Forum of African Research and Innovation FARI 2022.
The forum gives the opportunity for showcasing available Research and Development R&D efforts in the region and for Researchers to network among themselves with the aim of improving public understanding of the role of Science Technology and Innovation in the socio-economic development of the region.
Declaring the Forum Open, President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari said that Nigeria is committed to strengthening the collaboration with STI experts, alongside the provision of technical advice, methodologies and guidance to the ECOWAS Member States as integral parts of their national development policies and plans.
“STI has been recognized as the driver of Nigeria’s National Development Plan 2021 – 2025. The utilization and promotion of innovative applications with other socio-economic development indicators would lead to the rapid industrialization of the region and provision of definitive functions for highly qualified professionals thereby addressing, as much as possible the major challenges such as poverty eradication, food security, climate change, access to energy, eradication of endemic diseases, management and preservation of the environment among others.“
The President who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari noted that the application of Science, Technology and Innovation STI in all facets of life equally brings to the fore, the much-needed solutions.
Nigeria’s Minister of Science Technology and Innovation, Dr Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora said that the theme of the Forum” Towards the economic transformation of the West African region through competitiveness in research and innovation is apt and will assist in the process for the industrialization of the member states.
“The member states of ECOWAS have keyed in into the Vision 2050 that focuses on the community of people, peaceful prosperous region and work for inclusive and sustainable development for STI. I am fully aware that FARI is a strong and exciting project capable of stimulating innovation in the African scientific ecosystem towards supporting researchers and young innovative companies within the region in the forum,“ Mamora said.
The Minister added that the ECOWAS region cannot be left behind and must leverage Science, Technology and innovation to give the people a new lease of life.
The President of the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS, Dr Omar, Alieu Touray said that ECOWAS has always considered Science and Technological education as key areas for the social economic and cultural development of its members’ states and has made these commitments clear through a number of instruments.
“The crucial role of research and innovation in transforming regional economies and responding to global challenges is increasingly visible. They are key components of the new ECOWAS vision 2050 whose communities strategies framework 2023-2027 is being finalized in line with the United Nations 2030 agenda and the African Union’s agenda 2063. Fari is part of the Pillar 4 of ECOWAS vision 2050,“ Touray said.
The Director of Dakar regional office and OIC Abuja Regional Office of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO, Dr Dimitri Sanga said that UNESCO supports member states’ efforts to reform and upgrade national STI systems and governance and is also fully committed to supporting governments for distance learning, open science, and knowledge sharing, as a means to cooperation.