In a speech during a 3-day Physical and Virtual Multi-disciplinary International Conference organised by Anambra State Polytechnic Mgbakwu, the Vice-Chancellor Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof Charles Esimone said that technology and innovation were possible agents for Africa’s transformation.
He said that Africa needed a structural transformation to transform its economy into a technology treadmill, where fewer highly skilled workers would achieve more through the use of machines either in manufacturing or service delivery sectors.
According to him, Africa is still in the dark; more of a consumer continent with little contribution to development of hard wares, making it a disadvantaged entity as innovation is an inexhaustible engine for development.
“Its growth and industrialisation are stunted by poor financing mechanism and low-level knowledge’’.
Prof Esimone cited China’s revolution as its meteoric rise in economic development, saying it could be adopted.
He acknowledged that political and individual rights were the surest ways to fight bad leadership and injustice across African countries while regretting that political leaders still build their manifestos on the length of roads and bridges rehabilitated.
“Only a few leaders have reckoned with the dictates of the fourth industrial revolution.’’
Earlier, the Rector, Anambra State Polytechnic, Dr Nneka Mefor said that the conference was necessary to encourage researchers to be committed to their works, noting that epoch innovations were made from interaction of inventive minds.
She commended Gov. Willie Obiano for his efforts at making the institution great in the face of global economic meltdown.
The rector affirmed that Polytechnic education had a technological emphasis, which was practical in nature.
She said that the Institution had 12 Nigeria Board for Technical Education (NBTE) accredited departments in four schools at National Diploma (ND) level and was currently preparing for the board’s visitation for the approval of more programmes particularly for Higher National Diploma ((HND) programmes.
On the “Imperatives for Africa’s Transformation through Knowledge Management,’’ Prof. Chinalum Nwankwo said African knowledge systems need rehabilitation from its different psychology, an ailment that was concomitant with the argon from the contact with the West.
“When Africans have the knowledge, they can believe first that they have it and work at it before knowing how to manage it.’’
He stressed that the continent needed more renovations than innovations.
The conference which was held in collaboration with the Centre for Advanced Arts, Science, Social and Management Research (CAASSMR) had a theme: “Knowledge, Technology and Innovation for Africa’s Transformation’’.
Those that attended include Dr Joel Daddie from Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori, Rivers State and Mr Chukwuanu Sunday Okagbue the Master Compare of the conference.