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ICTP, Nigeria Cooperation

Agreement supports Nigerian science, technology policy

ICTP, Nigeria Cooperation

ICTP Director Fernando Quevedo and Honorable Usman Bayero Nafada, deputy speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives

ICTP and the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria signed an agreement on Monday, 7 May in Trieste to improve the country's science and technology policies.

The agreement formalizes ICTP's advisory role with the Nigerian National Assembly that was initiated in April at a two-day science and technology awareness workshop in Abuja, the country's capital. At the request of the National Assembly, ICTP sent a delegation of scientists and computer experts to inform parliamentarians of trends in science and technology, in an effort to strengthen Nigeria's capacity in these areas and to provide the background needed to formulate science and technology policies.

"The Nigerian National Assembly needs more knowledge of science and technology in order to create effective policies, and that is what motivated us to form an agreement with ICTP," said Honorable Usman Bayero Nafada, deputy speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives.

Key recommendations emerging from the awareness workshop included that Nigeria provide adequate funding for scientific research, improvement of education at all levels and substantial support to universities for basic science and engineering, and that centres of excellence be created to promote and enhance research in science and technology and to contain brain drain.

The ICTP-Nigeria agreement signed on 7 May will ensure continued contact between the two in the form of awareness workshops and exchange activities in order to assist Nigeria in reaching its capacity development goals.

ICTP and Nigeria have a number of collaborative programmes already in place, such as a PhD programme in mathematics at the University of Nigeria, a planned MSc programme in high performance computing at AUST, and an agreement with the National Universities Commission of Nigeria to develop scientific capacity in Nigerian universities. In 2009, 92 scientists from Nigeria visited ICTP in Trieste for research and training opportunities.


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