By INNOCENT ODOH, |
The Nigerian government has advised the Developing 8 (D-8) nations to invest in the creativity and digital entrepreneurship of the youth of the member nations to ensure their active participation in innovative technology.
Nigeria’s minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, gave this admonition at the 19th D-8 Council of Ministers meeting on Wednesday, in Abuja, a statement issued from the Foreign Ministry said.
The D-8 nations include; Nigeria, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
According to Onyeama, the theme of this meeting, “Partnership For A Transformative World: Harnessing the Power of Youth and Technology,” was in tandem with the D-8 Decennial Roadmap for development, adding that if fully implemented, it will go a long way in assisting member states to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).
He said, “Youth empowerment and their active participation in innovative technology are essential for attaining much-needed development. Given the fast pace of development in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), the need for the Organisation to invest more in, and equip its young generation for the future has become imperative.
“We must create the space to put the youth in the driving seat of innovation and creativity. We must leverage on the existing platform of the D-8 Network of Pioneers for Research and Innovation (NPRI) to train and develop our young digital entrepreneurs. We must also prioritise improving access to vocational training and providing greater incentives for our young people.”
Onyeama noted that for the organisation to truly become a major actor in the global economic system, there is a need for member states to support and lift one another to the upper rungs of economic development.
“Nigeria believes that for us to develop together, technology and best practices must be genuinely shared between and among our member countries. We should fully utilise the D-8 Technology Transfer and Exchange Network (TTEN) platform to promote sustainable development,” the minister said.
He emphasised the pivotal role of trade in the pursuit of more robust multilateral engagements for mutual development, and charged the bloc to remove trade barriers and implement existing agreements on trade facilitation.
He also tasked the bloc to bolster productive capacity that will attract investment and enhance commercial cooperation to improve welfare of citizens, adding that agricultural production and food security are vehicles for national stability and central to poverty eradication drive.
“We therefore, need to do more in promoting food security and reducing poverty through sustainable agricultural development.
“The organisation must leverage on agro-allied opportunities through the transfer of technology and modern equipment. Nigeria urges that all impediments associated with the acquisition and transfer of agricultural implements to member states should be removed for ease of trade facilitation,” Onyeama said.