NOTAP DG advocates Integrated Science Policies for Africa

NOTAP DG advocates Integrated Science Policies for Africa

Integrated Science, Technology and Innovation policies have been described as critical to the development of Africa.

Director General of Nigeria’s National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. Umar Bindir, stated this while addressing participants at the Committee for Development, Information, Science and Technology, (CODIST) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, (UNECA), the meeting brought together scientists, legislators, policy makers and members of the civil society from all parts of Africa.

In a keynote address, Dr. Bindir advocated for the creation of strong linkages between scientists and policy makers and urged scientists to speak the language that political leaders can appreciate by communicating clearly how Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) can translate to societal priorities such as job creation, human capital development and access to clean water among others.

He suggested, for instance, that human resources development should be part of every technological transfer agreement entered into between African entrepreneurs and their foreign technical partners and added that all plants and machineries should be imported as Completely Knocked Down (CKD) components to allow for local participation in their assembly, operation and maintenance.

Dr. Bindir told the audience that Nigeria had been actively involved in several STI initiatives such biotechnology, space research, pharmaceuticals, alternative energy sources and other cutting-edge research efforts.

He advised African governments against embarking on what he described as “stand-alone STI policies” and urged them to create National Research Councils to be headed by the President or Head of State with membership made up of CEO’s of science and technology consuming agencies in sectors such as education, agriculture, health, science and technology.

Dr Bindir further advocated the creation of a Research Development Fund to pool together and consolidate funds in the custody of various governmental agencies, corporate social responsibility initiatives and private foundations.

The meeting which is second in the series also featured the launching of the African Inter parliamentary Forum on Science Technology and Innovation aimed getting African legislators to become more involved in designing national and continental agenda on STI.