The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) launches the first edition of the African Forum for Research and Innovation (FARI 2022)
ECOWAS launched the first edition of the Forum for African Research and Innovation (FARI 2022) at a press conference in Abuja, Nigeria. The theme of the forum is “Science, Technology and Innovation for a More Competitive ECOWAS” which was adopted to reflect the many challenges of the global economy as ECOWAS Member States look towards a better and brighter sub-region. . The Forum for African Research and Innovation (FARI) will take place from 17 to 21 October 2022 in Abuja.
In his welcome address, the President of ECOWAS, Dr. Alieu Omar Touray whose speech was delivered by the Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr, welcomed everyone to the launch and thanked the Presidents of Nigeria and Guinea Bissau for their commitment to regional integration. He explained that “innovation is at the heart of knowledge economies. It is the foundation of competitiveness and one of the main drivers of economic growth, social well-being and adaptation to the environment. It is a factor in the modernization of agricultural production systems, the predictability of the seasons, the recognition of harmful and destructive pests, and ultimately a potential source of job creation, especially for young people by increasing the attractiveness of agro-industry. -sylvo-pastoral. sector and fishing. The crucial role, both in the transformation of national economies and in responding to global and regional challenges is increasingly visible and makes technologies and innovations key elements of the agenda of several organizations such as the United Nations. , the African Union with the 2063 vision and ECOWAS with its new 2050 vision.”
He stated that “FARI is the ECOWAS forum dedicated to the promotion of science, technology and innovation (STI) established by decision (A/DEC/.1/6/21) of the sixtieth ordinary session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government. The FARI is the result of the implementation of the Action Plan of the ECOWAS Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation (ECOPOST) adopted in 2012. It is part of the ECOWAS 2050 vision through the Pillar 4 on inclusive and sustainable transformation and development, a transformation that can only be achieved through science and technology as well as structuring investments in promising sectors. The role of science and technology is proving to be an important cornerstone in the development of innovation and the region’s resilience to climate change and exogenous shocks.
He explained that the theme of the first edition of FARI or FARI-2022 is “Science, technology and innovation for a competitive ECOWAS” and that the theme was chosen to develop a common vision that can promote the relevance of a common agenda in the domain. of science, technology and innovation (STI) and to improve the effective application of the results of research and innovation for the benefit of sustainable socio-economic development and the competitiveness of our region. He noted that all exchanges at FARI 2022 will be grouped under three sub-themes namely “STI achievements and progress in Africa and their sharing”, “Regional cooperation and coherent cooperation frameworks between governments , scientists, universities, policy makers, the private sector”. and TFPs and civil society; and “New visions of STI for a more inclusive development of African countries”.
The Honorable Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora, in his speech, thanked the ECOWAS leaders for their commitment to ensuring regional integration in the fields of science and innovation. He said this forum should have been held in 2021 but was not possible due to technical issues and the advent of COVID. He added that Nigeria has created an enabling environment for startups and entrepreneurs to succeed through a grant support and mentorship program. He listed Nigeria’s achievements in the science and technology space like developing the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, establishing the 2017-2030 roadmap and implementation plans. works for the development of the scientific sector as well as efforts to commercialize R&D. results from national research institutions.
In her address, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, Professor Fatou Sow Sarr, whose speech was read by the Head of the ECOWAS Education and Science Division, Dr Roland Kouakou, declared “The question which brings us together this morning is of paramount importance for our developing countries. Indeed, a nation’s standard of living largely depends on its scientific and technological development, which above all involves the development of research and innovation. This requires political and financial commitment from all African nations and at all levels. The convening of the African Research and Innovation Forum marks an important turning point in the promotion of science and technology at the regional level. It is a framework for strengthening regional cooperation in science and technology. FARI will contribute to bringing together researchers from the region on the one hand and their counterparts from the rest of the world on the other. She thanked the leaders of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other Member States for their support for FARI 2022 and said the outcome of the resolutions that will emerge from the regional forum will provide a qualitative leap towards realizing the ECOWAS STI vision. 2050.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).