The Nigerian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Sen. Adeleke Mamora recently emphasised the critical importance of education as the primary pillar of human development.
Speaking during a visit by the National Commission for United Nation Educational and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Mamora stressed the need for Africa to prioritise education to take its rightful place in the global community.
He noted that UNESCO is mandated to advance education in Africa to achieve sustainable development.
The minister urged all stakeholders, including persons with disabilities, to work together to develop human capacity through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. He emphasised the critical role of Research and Development (R&D) in technological advancement, noting that commercialising R&D efforts is key to national development.
The Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Chief Henry Ikoh added that Nigeria is blessed with abundant natural resources, including those capable of achieving self-sufficiency in agriculture. He called on UNESCO to support Nigeria in the area of agro-allied industries to boost exports and add value to the country’s economy.
The secretary-general of the National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Olagunju Idowu noted that their visit was to introduce the Better Education for Africa’s Rise (BEAR III) project to Nigeria. The initiative is a joint effort between UNESCO and the Republic of Korea, designed to improve technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in West African countries, including Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
A statement by the ministry’s deputy director of press and public relations, Atuora Obed, said in conclusion, education is critical to the sustainable development of Africa and STEM education is key to achieving this goal. Governments, organisations and individuals must work together to develop human capacity through STEM education and prioritise R&D efforts.
Furthermore, initiatives such as BEAR III are essential in improving TVET and creating a more prosperous Africa.