Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Nigeria-EU initiative to advance technology development

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The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji, said the collaboration between the European Union (EU) and the Federal Government would help to enhance technology innovation, advance technology development and unlock Nigeria’s potential to explore technology.

The minister said this during the just concluded Nigeria-EU Innovation Days held at the Landmark Centre in Lagos, yesterday.

Represented by the Director General, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Dr Matthew Adepoju, the minister said technology innovation remained the engine of economic growth of any country.

“The collaboration will enhance capacity building and the government is committed to ensuring a good support system from all stakeholders in the private sector and academia that will drive collaboration and innovation,” Nnaji said.
Stakeholders who attended the forum expressed confidence that the EU-Africa Innovation Agenda would be a game-changer that will unlock Africa’s vast potential.

The two-day event, jointly organised by the European Union (EU) and the Federal Government, brought together representatives of the Nigerian, African at large and European research and innovation ecosystems to discuss the innovation opportunities for researchers in e-Health, agritech and industry ecosystems.

The Minister of Youth Development, Dr Jamila Bio-Ibrahim, said Nigeria had been on the cusp of a technological revolution, with a vision to harness the power of science, innovation, and technology to drive economic growth, create jobs and improve the quality of life for all Nigerians.

“Our Science, Innovation and Technology Roadmap encapsulates this vision, which lays out a comprehensive plan for achieving these goals. At the Ministry of Youth Development, we are guided by three pillars: promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, encouraging entrepreneurship and startups and fostering international collaborations.

“The Nigeria of tomorrow will be a nation that consumes technology and creates it. It will be a nation that does not just export resources but ideas. It will be a nation where every child, regardless of background, can become a scientific pioneer.

“This is the Nigeria we will build together. The time for action is now. Let the Nigeria-EU Innovation Days be the spark that ignites a scientific revolution on African soil,” Bio-Ibrahim said.

Presenting the AU-EU Innovation Agenda at the Nigeria -EU Innovation Days forum, EU Co-chair of the AU-EU Innovation Agenda Working Group, Dr Vincenzo Lorusso, highlighted the long-standing partnership between the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), emphasising the importance of collaboration for tackling global challenges.

“In today’s world, innovation is crucial for addressing global issues and achieving sustainable development. The EU-Africa Innovation Agenda is a roadmap for driving innovation on the African continent,” Lorusso said.

According to him, the agenda focuses on four key areas: Fostering innovation for a more peaceful and secure Africa; Encouraging innovation to drive economic growth and job creation; Developing innovative solutions to combat climate change; and Promoting sustainable energy use and harnessing innovation to improve social development and empower people.

He added that the agenda included short, medium, and long-term actions with clear implementation plans noting that stakeholders will benefit from access to funding, networking opportunities, and collaboration platforms.

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