By Nkechi Isaac, Abuja - A team of experts from different African countries says only technological development holds the key to the much desired transformation in Africa. In a communiqué issued at the end of the Senior Expert Dialogue (SED) in Abuja with the theme “Science technology and innovation (STI) and the African transformation agenda: Making new technologies work for Africa’s transformation”, the group of experts maintained that Africa would not witness relative economic growth without the strong deployment of STI. While acknowledging the on-going effort to realise the African leaders’ commitments as expressed in Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA) 2024 and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, a long-term perspective plan to optimise the use of Africa’s resources for the benefit of all Africans, the experts said Africa must grow and sustain its growth using STI. “African leaders have at various fora and through several actions committed themselves to effect...
BY ANAYO ONUKWUGHA Rivers State Governor, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike has expressed regret that the Federal Government is yet to give science and technology, the priority attention it deserve. Wike, who disclosed this when the national executive council of the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN), paid him a courtesy call at Government House, Port Harcourt, called for increased investments in science  and technology for the nation to experience rapid development. The governor stated that science teachers should be encouraged with necessary incentives to carry out their responsibilities of preparing Nigerian children for developmental roles. He said, "Nigeria cannot develop unless the nation invests in the teaching of science and mathematics at all levels. That is the way to go. We cannot talk of Development without science and mathematics. There must be the needed encouragement and incentives for teachers of mathematics." Wike, who commended STAN for their contributions to the development of science education over the last six decades,...
BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN Kaduna State Government has commenced training for 13,000 Senior Secondary School teachers across the state on information and Communication Technology (ICT) under its secondary school e-learning project. Malam Idris Aliyu, Deputy Director Schools, in the state Ministry of Education, Science and Technology who made the disclosure at Kaduna ICT Hub, venue of the training, added that the move was part of government efforts to expose students and teachers to ICT, so as not to lag behind in the current ICT-driven world. He stressed that the training which commenced on Friday and ongoing was to get the teachers ready for the take-off of the Senior Secondary School e-learning project across the state in September this year. It would be recalled that the state government had earlier announced plans to distribute computer tablets to all senior secondary school students in the state under its e-learning project. To this end, Aliyu said that 10,000 tablets,...
By Nkechi Isaac, Abuja A global leading Information and Communications Technology company, Huawei Technologies Company has introduced its ‘GLocal’ ecosystem philosophy in Africa in order to build a customized IoT solution and enable operators to provide IoT-as-a-service to verticals in the region. According to a statement by the managing director of Huawei Technologies Nigeria Limited, Mr Frank Li, GLocal refers to leveraging global experience and engagement with leading international vendors and partnering with local players to cultivate a local ecosystem. The statement noted that for a GLocal ecosystem to work, operators and partners from different industries and areas need to work together to establish channels for communication between operators and vertical industries. “Another great ecosystem that supports IoT connection management is OceanConnect, an open ecosystem built on IoT, cloud computing, and Big Data technologies. OceanConnect provides over 170 open APIs and serial Agent software to promote app release, simplify device access, and guarantee...
By Nkechi Isaac Maize (also known as ‘corn’ in some countries) is one of the most common and important food crops across Africa. It is widely eaten in various forms and more than 900 million Africans depend on maize every year because it is often cheaper than rice and wheat, two of the other most consumed cereals. A report released by the IITA estimates that about 800 million tons of maize is produced worldwide every year. According to the report, though the United States remains the world’s largest producer with 42 percent of all maize produced globally, Africa contributes significantly in this production with 6.5 percent of this volume which is still insufficient for local consumption. Nigeria remains Africa’s largest producer with nearly 8 million tons per annum. It is closely followed by South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. It was therefore a nightmare when Nigeria like the rest of Africa woke up to...
By Nkechi Isaac, Abuja The importance of science and technology development in the development of nations cannot be over-emphasised. Indeed, science and technology has been identified as the key driver for the national and socio-economic development of any nation because of its cross cutting impact. The utilisation of science in development cuts across every other sector that drives the national or socio-economic development of any nation. Countries like Korea, China, Germany and many others currently seen as some of the most developed in the world were able to attain rapid industrialisation riding on the wings of science and technology. The dip in the price of crude oil and its resultant catastrophic effect on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product has driven the Federal Government to explore other ways of boosting the nation’s economy. This development accounts for the interest in developing the science and technology roadmap to drive development in the sector...
By Nkechi Isaac, Abuja - The National Agriculture Seed Council (NASC) has commenced sensitisation of Nigerian seed companies in preparation for the commercialisation of Genetically Modified Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cowpea and cotton by 2018. A sensitisation workshop organised in partnership with an association that represents private seed companies in Africa, the African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA) with support from Seed Enterprises Entrepreneur Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN); African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF); Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB); Africa Harvest; and the National Biosafety Management Agency (NABDA), in Abuja, was staged to educate seed companies that are expected to play a major role in the distribution of genetically engineered seeds when the nation finally commercialises it next year. Giving the opening remarks, the director-general of NASC, Dr Philip Ojo, said the meeting was very important for Nigeria because it was focused on educating major seed industry players from the public and private sector...
By Nkechi Isaac, Abuja The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has developed improved cotton varieties in a determined effort to address low cotton production in the country. The council which has been at the forefront of increased local production of industrial cotton made this known at a two-day training workshop of the cotton, textile and garment sector with the theme “Entrepreneurship training on industrial garment production for local and international (AGOA) markets” it organised in collaboration with El-Jahab Mubarak Nigeria Limited in Kaduna. The director-general of RMRDC, Dr Hussaini Ibrahim, said the council, as part of its mandate entered into strategic partnerships with researchers in research institutes to address the issue of poor cotton seeds identified as one of the pressing challenges of farmers in the sector. He said: “The council in collaboration with the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, has developed improved cotton varieties.  Among the varieties already developed are...
By Sunday Isuwa, Abuja  The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has granted the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) the patent right for the local production of Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs). The production of the UGVs was a Research and Development (R&D) effort of the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) Kaduna. The UGVs are capable of supporting all phases of NAF operations either in hostile environments or concealed areas. A statement by the NAF headquarters said after production, the vehicles would be used for security patrol and other critical national installations. The AFIT Commandant, Air Vice Marshal Isyaka Bukar, received the patent right certificate on behalf of the NAF today, 12 July 2017. He expressed the determination of the NAF not to relent in the pursuit of innovative projects, being mindful of the impact on national development and preservation of foreign exchange. Air Vice Marshal Bukar also requested for NOTAP’s continued support,...
BY YAHYA SARKI,KEBBI Small scale farmers and other stakeholders of the agriculture sector in Kebbi have been warned on the dangers of climate change as it affects agricultural production which is the mainstay of the state. This indication was highlighted in Birnin Kebbi during a 1- day sensitization workshop organised for small scale farmers and stakeholders in agriculture by Oxfam, an international charity organisation working to eradicate poverty through agriculture and West Africa Network for Peace (WANEP), a regional organization working towards building relationships for peace in West Africa . During the presentation of a report carried out in some northern states of the country , Kebbi inclusive , small scale farmers especially women have been identified to be most vulnerable to climate fluctuations and extreme weather conditions because of their dependence largely on rainfall and seasonal agriculture . The implication the result said were increased hunger, poverty and even violent clashes . Titilope...