Nigeria- EU collaboration will unlock tech potential, spur economic growth – Minister

By Chinenye Anuforo

 

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji sees the EU collaboration as a catalyst for research, development, and unlocking Nigeria’s full potential in the tech sector.

 

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

The Minister who was represented at the event by the Director General, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Dr. Matthew Adepoju, said technology innovation remained the engine of economic growth of any nation.

“The collaboration will enhance capacity building, and government is committed to ensuring good support system from all stakeholders in the private sector and academia that will drive collaboration and innovation,” Nnaji said.

Stakeholders that 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 European Union (EU) and the Federal Government of Nigeria, 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 4.0 ecosystem.

In his opening remarks, the Minister of Youth Development, Dr. Jamila Bio-Ibrahim, said Nigeria had been on the cusp of 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 encapsulate this vision, which lays out a comprehensive plan for achieving these goals. At the Ministry of Youth Development, we are guided by three fundamental pillars: promoting 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.

The presentation also showcased examples of successful initiatives undertaken under the agenda, demonstrating its potential for positive impact.

Lorusso stressed that the EU-Africa Innovation Agenda remained a game-changer for African innovation and expressed optimism about the future, adding that the agenda will unlock Africa’s vast potential.

In her remarks, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi, said the Nigeria-EU Innovation, which was organised in Nigeria for the first time, celebrated the remarkable synergy between Nigerian and European research institutions, universities and innovators. “This platform is where ideas meet action, showcasing the best of our collaborative efforts in healthcare, agriculture, industry, and the creative sectors,” she said.

Isopi described innovation as the cornerstone of progress, and explained that the Nigeria-EU Innovation Days provided an unparalleled opportunity for researchers and innovators to showcase their work, network with potential partners, and explore new avenues for collaboration.

“We believe that by supporting these efforts, we can unlock solutions to some of our most pressing challenges,” Isopi added.

The post Nigeria- EU collaboration will unlock tech potential, spur economic growth – Minister appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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