By Bukar Bolori
Nigeria and other West African countries need to improve on Science Technology and Innovation (STI) in order to solve local problems and boost their economies, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Adeleke Mamora has said.
The minister gave the advice during the closing ceremony of the maiden edition of African Research and Innovation Forum (FARI) 2022 in Abuja on Friday.
Mamora warned that the West African region cannot afford to remain behind in the global race for STI.
The programme, which started on Monday with the theme “Science, Technology and Innovation for a more competitive ECOWAS, was declared opened by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari.
Mamora, in his speech, noted that STI is at the heart of major development of nations and that it has taken a preeminent place in deliberation and consideration for any well-meaning government.
He said: “That is the challenge and we know we can do it and we will do it, we cannot afford to wait for STI to be a global concept. It is about doing things better, faster and greater, as well as achieving results and Africa cannot and should not be left behind.”
He insisted that Nigeria had taken the first big step by hosting the maiden edition of the FARI and any other ECOWAS nation hosting the next edition should improve on the FARI concept.
The Minister said: “FARI should be a good time for African scientists, researchers and innovators while building the foundation for a more STI secured ECOWAS.”
The major highlight of the event was the presentation of FARI certificates and awards comprising various categories, especially to President Buhari, who was honoured with ECOWAS Award of Recognition for hosting the maiden edition.
FARI Awards were presented to the best three Start-ups firms in the region.
Senegal’s SETTIC took the first position with a $25, 000 cash prize.
EDINDIA Industry of Cote D’ivoire came second and went home with a cash prize of $15,000 dollars, while HAJNADY of Nigeria took third position with $10,000 cash prize.