President Goodluck Jonathan has said that Africa has just a few numbers of scientists and engineers insufficient to propel the continent towards completely migrating into the emerging global knowledge-based economy.
The president said this at the weekend, during the 4th commencement of the African University of Science and Technology, Abuja held at the weekend.
Jonathan, represented by Prof. Ita Okon Bassey Ewa, the Minister of Science and Technology, said there is urgent need for Africa to develop strategies that will enable Africa produce enough information and communication technology, ICT driven scientists and engineers that will create the jobs required for the over a billion population living in the continent, which the times demand.
Ewa described science and technology as engines of economic growth and progress, which he said is demonstrated in Western and Eastern countries of the last few centuries, where industrial revolution was driven by science and technology initiated in leading European universities.
According to the Minister, this informed the decision of federal government to support the establishment of the university in 2007, with a donation of 24,000 acres of land and subsequent funding through the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF.
The President, who expressed pleasure with the partnership between the university and the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, since inception, described the partnership as a beneficial partnership that should be extended to several other industries, in order to support Nigeria’s struggle to join Africa’s technological emergence into the country of the future.