Nigeria Aims to Lead Africa’s Innovation Revolution, Announces Ambitious Plans

The Federal Government of Nigeria has unveiled its ambitious vision to position the country at the forefront of Africa’s innovation revolution. During a high-level summit on Research, Development, and Innovation (RDI) held in Abuja, Chief Uche Nnaji, the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology, outlined the government’s strategy to propel Nigeria’s global competitiveness through technological advancement and sustainable development.

Nnaji articulated a three-point plan to revolutionize Nigeria’s RDI ecosystem, focusing on strengthening institutional frameworks, fostering public-private partnerships, and investing in human capital. He emphasized the importance of inclusivity and collaboration among academia, industry, government, and communities to drive innovation forward.

Highlighting the government’s commitment to innovation, Nnaji expressed Nigeria’s aspiration to become a hub for African innovation, contributing significantly to the global knowledge economy. He underscored the need to harness existing research and development efforts for practical development, emphasizing the central role of his ministry in achieving this objective.

The summit’s theme, ‘Advancing Nigeria’s Global Competitiveness Through a Resilient National RDI Coordination,’ served as a call to action for stakeholders to collaborate and pursue excellence in RDI coordination. Dr. Udodirim Ugonna, representing the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, echoed the importance of innovation in development and emphasized the collaborative approach needed to harness research outputs for policymaking and industrial advancement.

Prof. Abubakar Sani, President-elect of the Nigerian Academy of Science, emphasized the underutilization of research outputs and advocated for their integration into the programs of government agencies. Dr. Shabihul Hassan shared insights on international collaboration, citing India’s success in agriculture as a model for Nigeria to emulate.

Omo Oaiya and Dr. Mustapha Ayo Popoola highlighted the challenges facing Nigeria’s RDI sector, including fragmentation and lack of coordination. They called for a unified approach to transform the national RDI narrative and unlock the country’s vast knowledge assets.

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