The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has said African countries cannot afford to be left behind as the 4th Industrial Revolution unfolds.
He said by not investing in science, technology and innovation (STI), African countries run the risk of lagging behind countries in other continents technologically and economically.
He spoke in Abuja at a science and technology conference with the theme ‘Rethinking technology transfer for sustainable development and transformative change’ organized by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).
The Minister stressed that African countries must strive to bridge the gap between them and developed countries by investing heavily in STI.
He said: “With every Industrial revolution, the gap between low technology nations and highly developed nations always widens”.
He urged all African countries to comply with the directive of the Africa Union to dedicate at least one percent of the GDP to fund research development.
While bemoaning the fact that not a single Africa nation had attained the expectation of the African Union, Dr. Onu called for collective efforts to achieve maximum progress.
“We believe that this conference be very helpful to Nigerians and all participating countries in their efforts to acquire relevant technology for national development”, he added.
“We are looking forward to making sure that we meet the target of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 to enable African countries contribute meaningfully to sustainable development and knowledge driven programmes.” Onu added.
On his part, the Director General of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim said the conference would discuss issues affecting technology transfer on the continent.
Nine countries, South Africa, Rwanda, Ghana, Botswana, Zambia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria attended the conference.