According to Dr. Bulama, reports of eminent scientists in Africa and beyond revealed that technology and innovation are the foundations of social and economic well-being since the beginning of human civilization and with each passing millennium, the forces of technology and innovation have gained importance as fundamental tools for creating wealth and jobs while improving the quality of life, both globally and within individual societies.
“It is a known fact that countries with Science Technology and Innovation, STI capabilities have higher chances to succeed. This is a lesson in history that has direct implications on the future well-being of Africa. This has not been given the much needed attention in our postcolonial history. The forces of technology and innovation have gained importance as fundamental tools for creating wealth and jobs while improving the quality of life both globally and within individual societies.”
He added that Africa is endowed with several natural resources which if properly deployed with the use of STI will greatly improve standards of living. “Africa is endowed with many natural resources, such as petroleum, diamonds and other valuable minerals, including copper, zinc and bauxite, for which Africa is known to have largest deposits in the world. The continent is well endowed with rich biodiversity and agricultural resources that have the potential to create enormous economic wealth for its people.
“However these resources can only equitably benefit Africans if STI is rightly applied to transform these resources to useful goods and services. Africa today must follow this proven pathway to prosperity and social well-being for our people which can be traversed in just decades and not centuries.”
The Minister regretted the fact that much attention has not been given to this sector, thereby leading to the inability to use Science, Technology and Innovation to successfully address critical problems related to healthcare, food security, water safety, environmental sustainability.
“It is a known fact that countries with Science, Technology and Innovation, STI capabilities have higher chances to succeed. New technologies will lead to healthier lives, greater social freedoms, increased knowledge and more productive livelihoods.”
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita reiterated that to achieve sustainable development through STI, it is imperative that appropriate policy instruments be put in place to generate the desired outcomes.
She added that, science and technology infrastructure is one the primary indices for separating countries into developed, developing and underdeveloped countries of the world.
Chief Technological Officer, UNECA, Mr. Kasirim Nwuke said Nigeria is seen as the technology hub of the continent therefore there is need to introduce new thinking into this sector which will greatly transform the economy.