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(REF NI29) Roundtable on Nigeria Jaagz Bajaj • Samuel Adunreke
September 29, 2021 @ 7:00 am - 8:00 am PDT
THE ROLE OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION IN ADDRESSING THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS IN NIGERIA
Science and Innovation have a significant role to play in the attainment and realization of economic, political and social independence in Nigeria and Africa at large. The issues of underdevelopment in Africa had in the past been multi-dimensional in nature and as such requires a multidimensional approach to address. This calls for “aggressive intervention”. Having identified our peculiar problems and limitations, we can’t afford to undermine our own development. It would be a great crime in humanity if we fall off the scale of development. With efforts of various International and Inter-Governmental Institutions globally like the United Nations, The European Union and other agencies and International Development Organizations in participatory development, we have to put into consideration what research, sciences and innovation has in place for us so that we would not be a victim of underdevelopment.
The outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic no doubt is a difficult development in the world today and the whole world is ravaged by this negative development. Notwithstanding, we have seen the important role of science, research and innovation plays through surviving the pandemic. This without doubt has exposed the weaknesses in National and Global Structures and in particular the field of sciences in Africa.
The European Union through her Horizon Europe Program is set out to promote science and Innovation for the preservation and transformation of lives and humankind.
The need for the promotion of science and innovation in building the development bridges among nationalities across education and academic institutions cannot be over emphasized as the benefits spans the timely and meaningful attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The calls for scientific approach in closing the gaps and vacuums dealt to the Sciences, Innovation and RD &D Industry in Africa and the need to transform the Continent by changing the narratives; taking into account the role of science and innovation plays in the new approach for fostering economic growth of modern societies and the mobilization of capital and improvement of Foreign Direct Investment. This is instrumental to the attainment of the SDGs cannot be ruled out. This is certainly one of our mandate at Innovea Development Foundation to build development bridges through innovations.
The compartmentalization of innovation and the removal of stereotypes through the depolarization of cross cutting issues like addressing gender imbalance represented in most of the representations is another good way forward. Marginalization is certainly a major challenge in Africa, this had led to underdevelopment in Africa without doubt infrastructural deficits has undermined our evolution and journey to self-actualization. The access to financing of research and academic works in the field of sciences needs thorough governance and looking through the lens of equitable financing and promotion of the efforts of governments in Africa in these topical issues and thematic.
It is about time the ordinary people take ownership of sciences as we humanize research and innovation; creating a space where the little ingenuity in our younger generation and little child in the African villages can be translated into dreams spanning a millennial period. The European Union’s Intervention in Sciences through the Horizon Europe is helping developing nations realize the attainment of global cooperation in research and innovation.
According to Declan Kirrane at a recent Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership event, the success stories in the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) is radically saving lives and is an intervention that is multi-transformational in nature since the outbreak of the Covid-19 Pandemic, The European Commission has taken leadership to support the entire humanity.
Research and Development are imminent in transforming these sectors in their intersections. These areas include but not limited to the understated:
- The Food Systems: The food systems safely in a manner that promotes nature positive and healthy nutrition as alternates the genetically modified seedlings, innovations for reduction of food waste,
- Circular Economy:
- Energy Development at a time when the world is in desperate transition to carbon free energy is another good reason for mitigating the impact of fossil fuels on both economic and social lifestyles of global citizens. The Nigerian Nuclear Energy commissions can be better empowered to conduct research and improve existing pragmatic solutions to reduce the negative footprints of the Nuclear energy on environment and Human Health
- Telecommunications: The improvement in the Telecommunications space for intelligence gathering, aerial security and territorial integrity protection is a formidable tool to combat insecurity in Nigeria and The Sub Saharan Africa Region. Leaving no stone unturned Nigeria has the capacity to provide leadership for the continent. Through efficient utilization and maximization of the capacities of the NigComSat.
- Aviation Technology: The nexus of Blue, Green and Digital Economies allows for improvement in Renewable Energy, Telecommunications and Space research in find lasting solutions to addressing basic challenges in the global aviation space. This definitely can make something happen to human mobility as there are improvements on Aviation fuels through the use of fuel cells and Hydrogen technology to replace existing aviation fuels. According to IRENA 2020, The need for the scaling of hydrogen technologies in mitigating emissions from entirely hard to abate sectors like aviation and manufacturing cannot be over emphasized.
- Bio-sciences, Medicine and Health:
- Particularly, we believe that the Climate Science is a reason for
- According to the recent submissions of Intergovernmental Party on Climate Change IPCC; climate science needs improved environmental research and strong international governance
- Helispherical and Meteorological Sciences
- Space Sciences and Technology: Satellite technology is essential through governance that avails the need for clearer, precise climate, weather and ecological prediction for a more sustainable and accurate predictions, early warning systems, flood predictions among other ecological advancements which abates the adversities in and limitations in geographical strata. Through data interoperability, space governance and solutions for interplanetary benefits. The United Nations office of outer space can accelerate the major space science and research towards addressing the major challenges in outer space technologies and had lived up to her responsibilities in providing thorough political and governance structure for development globally. The Nigeria Government should look to strengthen and empower the National Space research and Development Agency for optimal capacity.
- Information and Communication Technology and the capital flights, Nigeria must live up to her responsibilities through the policies and social governance.
- Environmental Sciences and biodiversity research, Animal Science, Health Science,
- Research in the areas of climate science can better be improved upon by in-depth review on past literatures in solar and the roles of Centers of Excellence, Academia and Research Institutions in improving on research outcomes can never be over emphasized. This should go beyond politicizing
- Marine Sciences: There is a lot of advancement in the marine spaces with sporadic transformations in the context of oceanography, adaptation and oceanographic manage