The African Union Development Agency -New Partnership For Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD), has harped on the need to invest in science and technology for the development of Africa.
The Agency said there is need to increase focus on research that can contribute to economic growth in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 and Agenda 2063 in Africa.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 1st Annual the Pan-African Scientific Research Council (PASRC) conference in Abuja yesterday the National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer, AUDA-NEPAD, Princess Gloria Akobundu, said the 1st PASRC which is in collaboration with Africa School of Economics (ASE), is being facilitated to help young people go into technology, innovation to be able to actualise the growth and development needed in Africa.
She said PASRC was established in 2020, with the aim to bring together African focused researchers and professionals together to enable cross-disciplinary, generational, and geographical collaboration and peer learning.
“The goal of the council is to promote research, career development, policy and public engagement among African -focused researchers and professionals in the thematic areas of social sciences; biomedical sciences; agricultural, energy, and environmental sciences; and applied mathematics, computer science, and statistics.
“As at February, 2021, PASRC has inaugurated 521 members from 55 Countries”, she said.
Furthermore, Akobundu noted that there is a growing recognition that achieving the SDGs and Africa’s Agenda 2063 will necessitate extensive technical expertise and deep research capacities.
“The African Union (AU) Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA) places science, technology, and innovation at the epicenter of Africa’s socio-economic development and growth which places emphasis on the impact sciences across critical sectors such as agriculture, energy, environment, health, infrastructure development, mining, security and water among others.
“The strategy envisions an Africa whose transformation is led by innovation to create a knowledge-based economy. In Africa, there is great opportunities in investing in the right education as a building block for effective resources and better skills for prosperous future.
“Investing in education amounts to breaking barriers, quality research, skillfulness and better knowledge sharing, hence, the need for “the Annual Conference”.
She however, reiterated the need to encourage local language to enable easy communication.
“The English language is important and designed to enable communication among us, but we also need the development of our local language, which should be encouraged. Promotion of local language will promote easy learning”, Akobundu noted.
Also speaking, the Founder of Africa School of Economics, Leonard Wantchekon noted the importance of local language in the development of children.
“We need to approach and adopt our local product. This will give children the platform to be able to develop what they want to do.
“One of the project we are working with currently is teach local history in schools, so that kids will be highly connected to their communities and have a sense of pride in who they are and grow up. When people understand where they come from, they are peaceful”, Wantchekon noted.