Abuja, Dec. 13, 2018 (NAN) – Some participants rose from the just concluded capacity building initiative aimed at promoting Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) among African countries, with a call for the annual organisation of the event.
The participants told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, Nigeria that the call became necessary because this year’s event organised by the African Union, Scientific Technical Research Commission (AU-STRC), had empowered them with skills on inclusive innovation that would focus on finding solutions that would have direct bearing on their local communities.
NAN reports that STI is an initiative of the African heads of governments intended to empower member states to collectively address the global social, economic and environmental challenges across national boundaries.
This is with the belief that governments cannot single-handedly tackle the global challenges – such as food and nutrition insecurity, neglected and poverty-related diseases, climate change and energy, among others.
One of the participants, Mr. Oluwatoyin Dada, a Chartered System Accountant and an expert in financial technology, said he was impressed with the idea of having financial experts, scientific experts, innovators, researchers in one room to exchange ideas.
He said as an expert in financial technology it was thoughtful for the commission to include accountants among participants as this indicated that the commission understood the role of innovation in the financial community.
According to him » the workshop was a movement that showed that traditional financial accounting methods will give way to sophisticated and innovative delivery of financial services such as balance sheets, bank statements etc. »
He added that initiative would help him impact his institution on the need to adopt storage of financial documents in cloud instead of the conventional computer.
Dr. Oumawu Goita, an agricultural researcher with Institute Economy Rural of Mali, praised the AU-STRC for the wonderful opportunity provided participants to benefit from the capacity building.
He said such workshops were beneficial to the growth of science and technology on the continent.
« This workshop is beneficial to me as an agricultural researcher and I have also learnt innovative ways to improve on agricultural produce technologically in my locality.
« I see this opportunity as a call to policy makers on the continent to move from just elections and campaigns and come together to better Africa through agriculture.
Goita urged AU-STRC to sustain the organisation of the workshop and make it an annual event as it would be beneficial in the long run to the African continent.
An expert on Epidemiology with Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran, Hawawu Hussein said the workshop afforded her the opportunity to meet with the kind of professionals she had always looked up to.
She said the workshop was crucial to her as a researcher especially now that she was working on the impact of cooking fuel types on pregnant women and infants.
She said she was hopeful of being able to give back to her locality in Ghana by organising a sensitization workshop on innovative cooking practices that would impact less on the climate and reduce the rate of disease outbreaks.
Samson Awua, Founder of Wooks Brothers Limited said the workshop gave participants the opportunity to showcase the outcomes of their latest research studies on human anatomical models.
Kelvin Awua, who is the Co-founder of the company, said the company was involved in inclusive and grassroots innovation by working with federal schools in Nigeria.
« We provide human anatomy model in form of learning aids so as to ease learning in Nigerian secondary schools.
« We are grateful to the Ministry of Science and technology for their support, and we hope to get more support from the government so that our innovation can cut across the continent, » he said.
NAN reports that inclusive innovation is any innovation that is community based i.e innovations that seek to address community challenges whereby research institutions are more informed about their local community needs and design effective solutions to address this challenges.
The workshop was organised to build the capacities of participants across Africa in order to enhance the entrepreneurship efficiency of African researchers and innovators.
It, therefore, brought together financial experts, scientists, heads of research institutions, industrialists and private sector captains, among others to rub minds as well as share ideas and experiences.
The participants are expected to return to their various countries and help formulate policies that would address the actual needs of locals in the community.
The workshop was attended by more than 50 participants from different parts of Africa.