By Bukar Bolori
Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamora has said the Nigeria with her huge population can no longer afford to be a consuming nation, but a productive one. Mamora, gave this verdict on Tuesday at the launch by Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) the Forum for African Research and Innovation (FARI).
He said: “Our dear country is poised to continuously achieve research excellence, attract and retain adequate human resources for science, technology and innovation, foster competitiveness and innovation, and build science and technology capacities in the country. “We are calling on all private concern to join us in this endevour.”
The Minister while expressing optimism that the Forum will present an avenue for exchange of ideas and discussions among scientists, innovators, policy makers, the private sector, technical and financial partners, noted that the globalisation of research and development has increased policy debate and made Africa to be ambitious in providing more critical mass for excellent research.
He added that the Forum will therefore equally provide an opportunity for international science, technology and innovation cooperation and networking within the ECOWAS member states.
The President of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Omar Touray while noting that the launching of the Forum, is a move to boost scientific research and innovation by member countries, said FARI was initiated to respond to initiatives on Science and Technology at the global and continental level.
He said with the launching of FARI, it would be easy to boost the visibility of scientific research and innovation in West Africa.
He informed that the theme of the first edition of FARI which is “Science, Technology and Innovation for a competitive ECOWAS” has been identified with a view to developing a common vision that can promote the relevance of a common agenda in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) and improve the effective application of research results and innovation for the benefit of sustainable socio-economic development and the competitiveness of the West African region.
Touray stressed that from past centuries to the present, sciences have contributed enormously to the change of humanity, and has continued to shape the world through technological innovations and constantly evolving derivative applications that impact all business sectors around the world.
He said: “FARI is therefore a regional platform for exchanges and discussions between scientists, technologists, innovators, decision-makers, the private sector, technical and financial partners, pupils/students and the populations. It aims to be unifying, innovative but also and above all to carry a mission to promote the products of researchers in the region.”
He noted that: “In addition to bringing added value to scientific and technological integration efforts, the FARI also offers real opportunities for economic and social benefits. It promotes scientific tourism and helps create temporary jobs in the host country and fight against poverty,” he added.
Touray disclosed that the FARI-2022 will take place from 17 to 21 October 2022 in Abuja, and will have in attendance over 60 experts from 15 ECOWAS Member States, African and global organizations and institutions.
He revealed that the Forum will also have in attendance start-ups from the region who will exhibit their products; 12 Ministers in charge of Science and Technology, Representatives of African and global organisations and institutions; among several others.