Dons canvass integrated development for Africa
POLICY makers in Africa should cooperate and develop innovative strategies that would help in tackling challenges of insecurity, human rights violations, energy, unemployment and environmental degradation facing the continent.
This was the resolution of scholars from three African universities, yesterday, at the opening ceremony of the second International Interdisciplinary Conference, themed Global Initiatives for Integrated Development (IIC-GIID 2015), at the Igbariam campus of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Anambra State.
The scholars include Vice Chancellors of COOU and the University of Eldoret, Kenya, Prof Fidelis Okafor and Prof Theresa Akenga, respectively as well as the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Kyambogo University, Kyambogo, Uganda, Prof Fabian Nabuguomu. The three universities jointly organised the conference.
Prof Okafor said that the conference was coming after a similar joint initiative in 2013 held in Kenya between COOU and the University of Eldoret, Kenya and that the Kyambogo University, has just joined in the cooperative arrangement.
He added: “It is a gobal approach because humanity is one and faced problems. This time, African nations and, indeed, the world are faced with challenges of insecurity, human right violations, inadequate energy, environmental degradation and massive unemployment.”
Noting that the four-day conference would provide a forum for cross fertilization of ideas by professionals, researchers and academics in current trends, he believed that suggestions made would offer solution that will guide policy makers in public and private sectors of African economy.
In her speech, Professor Akenga said the conference is an indication of the need for networking beyond personal levels, especially among the developing nations in Africa, adding that stakeholders would have the opportunity to present research findings to the scientific community and strengthen the pursuit of knowledge in different disciplines.
Prof. Nabugoomu urged universities in Africa to step up on the level of learning and research in other to sustain human development.
He said the gathering will offer opportunities for African scholars to identify and solve similar challenges facing their home countries, have a world view of the outside world and share their experiences.
Chairman of the occasion and Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Prof Godwin Onu, said the conference would stimulate cross fertilisation of ideas, and that the Kenyans and Ugandans at the conference are not only representing their institutions but also their countries.
Onu, who praised the participating universities, said at the end the benefits would help the institutions and their countries in solving pressing problems of development.
He called on the Nigerian government, particularly Anambra State to encourage scholarship through similar international conferences, where stakeholders share their experiences and research findings.
He charged African leaders to exhibit transparency and accountability in governance, as this was the surest way to tackle poverty in various countries.
Anambra state Governor, Dr. Willie Obiano, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Education, urged African universities to produce committed graduates, who will contribute to development of their countries.