The quest by the Professor Suleiman Bogoro led Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to deepen research in Nigeria appears to be yielding ‘fruits’ in fast pace as the agency has been admitted into Science Granting Councils Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa.
The initiative is designed to advance research excellence in sub-Saharan Africa.
The new feat was made known in a statement issued by the continental organisation, which was obtained by PlatinumPost in Abuja.
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The statement read : “The Science Granting Councils Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa (5GC) today announces that
the Nigeria Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), has joined the initiative to advance research excellence in sub-Saharan Africa.
The statement quoted Professor Bogoro as saying, “TETFund is an agency set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria to provide supplementary support to alevels of public tertiary institutions. Its Research and Development (R&D) support is becoming an institutional reference and has changed Nigeria’s narrative in many aspects.
“Nigeria is already a major producer of research in Africa, thougha recent study suggests that it has the clear potential to do more, given the number of its universities (196), think-tanks and research professionals.
” National growth and competitiveness (in the context of globalized economy) depends very much on continuous technological improvement and innovation driven by a well-organised vibrant Research and Development System.”
Prof. Bogoro, who has been championing R&D in Nigeria, also said : “We are confident that our admission into SGCl will open a new window of opportunities that will provide platforms that can serve as a fulcrum in achieving our goals of Nigerla’s transition to a knowledge economy in the 21
“We are assured of quality partnerships and collaborations on the continent of Africa and beyond.”
PlatinumPost reports that the Science Granting Councils Initiative, which took off in 2015 has been jointly funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commoriwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF), the Swedish Intemational Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Geman Research Foundation (DFG).
The initiative aims to strengthen the capacities of Sciernce Granting Councils (SGCs) in sub-Saharan Atrica in order to support research and evidence-based policies that will contribute to ecoromic and social development.
Through this engagement with TETFund, facilitated by FCDO’s West Africa Research and Innovation Hub, Nigeria has become the 16th country in SGCL.
It will join other SGCs through the SGCI Annual Forum, bilateral excharnge visits and other activities to share lessons in
managing research funds for maximum impact and to identily areas for future collaboration such as joint research calls, as resources become available.
According to Dr. Dominique Charron, Vice-President, Programmes and Partnership Branch at Canada’s International Development Research Centre, “with the largest population and
economy in Africa, Nigeria’s participation expands the potential for the Science Granting Councils Initiative to achieve its goals of strengthening science systems and building alliances
between science granting councils in multiple regions across the sub-continent and internationally.”
Dr Aldo Stroebel, Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships at the National Research Foundation-South Afria and SGCI Executive Committee Member said”it is with great pleasure to welcome the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) of Nigeria to the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI).
“The NRF looks forward to working dosely with the TETFund in advancing the Science, Technology and Innovation agenda in Africa.”
Speaking on FCDO’s involvement and the benefit to Nigeria, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing CB said:
“Nigeria’s TETFund admission to the Science Granting Councils Initiative is a positive development that will better position Nigeria to maximise the commissioning and use of research for
development, in line with critical national social and economic priorities.
“The UK recognises the importance of science to address global challenges, we are pleased to have supported the TETFund to join the SGCI and will continue to work in partnership with them and other ministries, departments and agencies in Nigeria to better realise the benefits of science and research.”