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Minister calls on African countries to focus on science and technology



Minister calls on African countries to focus on science and technology

By Sylvester Thompson

Science and Technology Minister Dr Ogbonnaya Onu on Monday called on African countries in Abuja to focus on science, technology and innovation (STI), for self-reliance.

He made this appeal when a delegation from the Organization of Military Sports in Africa (OSMA) visited him and invested him as sponsor of the Sahel Military Games in Africa.

UN said that for African countries to be able to convert knowledge into products and services, they must become self-reliant and must pay attention to STI.

“It is very important that all of Africa recognize that the continent is blessed; that is why developed countries come to Africa to source their raw materials.

“The question is why, as Africans, can we not use the same raw materials, the same natural resources that other countries come to seek from us to develop our countries,” said Onu.

He noted that there was no need for African countries to go hungry while importing things from other parts of the world.

Un said that if African nations achieve self-reliance, young people in Nigeria and other African countries will stop risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean in search of greener pastures.

He said one way to achieve the development of STI is to encourage young people to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

He noted that developed countries were following this line, and that was the formula that Africans had to grasp with both hands.

“We need to educate our people in order to have the human capacity to harness all these resources and we should invest more in research and development.

“If we do this, we will be able to create enough jobs for our people,” he stressed.

The Minister said that the Sahel Games were important for Nigeria and for the African continent because of his creativity and his vision of using sport to integrate the army of the Sahel region in crisis.

“I believe that the use of sport to integrate the army will strengthen a better understanding between the military in the region,” said the minister.

He also reiterated the ministry’s commitment to support the Sahel Games so that they are a resounding success.

In his remarks, Brigadier-General. Maikano Abdullahi, president of OSMA, said the visit brought together military representatives from 15 African countries.

He said the idea behind the organization of the Sahel Military Games was to bring together African countries in the Sahel region for the common good and for peace to reign in the region.

He said they came to confirm and decorate the members of the ODMA board of directors as well as the patron of the games, Dr Onu.

Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi, Minister of State for Science and Technology, in his remarks, noted that military operations cannot be carried out without the application of appropriate technologies.

Abdullahi called on OSMA to sponsor the products, goods and services of indigenous research and development agencies on the continent.

“They are very competitive with foreigners and patronage would encourage local production, jobs and wealth creation,” he said. (NAN)

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