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International conference on Africa’s sustainable development focuses on industrialisation

The conference emphasised the pivotal role of academia in driving sustainable development. Academics were urged to produce research that provides actionable solutions for policy makers and guides governments in the right direction.
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Experts, policy makers, academics, and industry leaders converge at the 3rd International Conference On Africa’s Sustainable Development (ICASuD) held at the Anchor University, Multipurpose hall, to deliberate and suggest how to redirect Africa’s trajectory amidst global socio-economic disruptions.

The theme, “Shifting Africa into a Production and Industrialised Economy amid Global Socio-Economic Disruptions,” set the tone for discussions that were not just theoretical but deeply practical in nature.

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Ayodotun Ibidunni, Ph.D, the convener and the chair at International Centre for policy research and industry linkages, aimed at harmonising Africa’s abundant resources – natural, human, and material – for a more sustainable future. With participants from various African countries, including Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, and Uganda, the conference aimed to foster a united African front in achieving self-sustainability and competitiveness on the global stage.

The conference emphasised the pivotal role of academia in driving sustainable development. Academics were urged to produce research that provides actionable solutions for policy makers and guides governments in the right direction.

Professor Mondy Gold, a keynote speaker from Colorado State University, stressed the importance of engaging Nigeria’s diaspora community as vital catalysts for sustainable development. He emphasized the need for serious attention to education and highlighted the value of sustainable environments in Nigeria’s development.

Delegates at the conference called for accountable leadership, emphasising the necessity of responsible fiscal policies and the need to curtail reckless spending and borrowing. Discussions also focused on inclusive growth, job creation, and attracting foreign direct investment into local refineries.

Nigeria’s demographic advantage in its youthful population, constituting 70% of the populace, was highlighted as a potential driving force for industrialization and policy reforms.

The synergy between academia, industry, and policy makers was underscored as a critical factor. Collaborations in education were seen as instrumental in creating job opportunities and sustaining industries.

During a pivotal panel session at the 3rd International Conference On Africa’s Sustainable Development (ICASuD), Professor Evans Osabuohien from Covenant University stressed the importance of aligning policies with African culture. He emphasised that for sustainable growth, policies need to be specific, respecting the unique cultural contexts within the continent.

Professor Osabuohien also highlighted the necessity for stakeholders, including governments, industries, and communities, to collaborate effectively, underlining the significance of unity in improving Africa’s economy.

Addressing the gathering, he advocated for adopting a long-term perspective in addressing Africa’s challenges, emphasizing the need to tackle issues comprehensively and holistically. He also proposed building investments based on commonalities, encouraging shared initiatives that harness Africa’s collective strengths.

In the same panel session, Dr. Ayodeji Ajibade from Babcock University delved into the critical role of academia in industrialization. He highlighted the pivotal role played by academics, especially in research, in shaping the continent’s current state. Dr. Ajibade emphasized the importance of synergy between academia, industry, and policy makers. He stressed that collaboration in education not only enhances the quality of learning but also creates avenues for job opportunities, promoting sustainable development.

Dr. Ajibade expressed concerns about the collapse of education, stating that it directly correlates with the collapse of the nation. He passionately argued that investment in education is paramount, as without it, the industrial sector would suffer, potentially leading to economic downturn.

These insights from the panelists underscored the need for a holistic approach to Africa’s sustainable development. Their emphasis on cultural relevance, collaboration, and education as fundamental pillars for progress resonated strongly with the conference attendees, sparking further discussions and initiatives aimed at driving Africa into a prosperous and sustainable future.

As the conference concluded, the participants acknowledged the challenges faced by Africa but expressed a collective belief in the nation’s potential. The consensus was clear: for Africa to achieve sustainable development, there must be collaborative efforts, informed policies, and a commitment to harnessing the nation’s resources effectively.

The conference served as a reminder that Africa’s sustainable future lies not just in theoretical discussions but in practical solutions, accountability, and the collective will of its people, including the valuable Nigerian diaspora community and ICASuD is the solution.

ICASuD 2023 concluded with a resounding call for action, urging African nations to embrace unity, invest in education, and foster collaboration among diverse sectors. The conference stands as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path toward a prosperous and sustainable future for Africa.

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