Monday, October 24, 2011

NOTAP boss tasks African media on S & T

The Director-General, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. Umar Bindir, has tasked African media practitioners to be innovative in reporting Science and Technology for Sustainable Development.

Bindir in his keynote to the two-day West African regional workshop with the theme “Making Science and Technology Information More Accessible for Africa’s Development,” while dwelling on “Global STI Trends in Africa – The Role of Journalists” noted that media practitioners on the continent of Africa have been given the arduous task of disseminating information to enhance public awareness on the relevance of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).

This, he said, is expected to accelerate the regional socio-economic development with their reportage.

Also, Dr. Bindir said that because of the peculiar challenges facing African countries her media practitioners, especially those covering scientific events on the continent could not effectively communicate science and technology so as to achieve social change and sustainable development.

As said by him, sustainable development in Africa has to be science-led and driven by an unprecedented transfer of technology and acquisition of knowledge.

In addition, he said that science journalists could set the agenda for ensuring that every scientific endeavour leads to technology, every technology leads to innovation and every innovation leads to a product.

Bindir further enjoined science media practitioners to embellish their reports with accurate data; be strategic and innovative with their reports in order to proffer solutions were necessary as part of the new model for communicating science for the achievement of socio-economic transformation.

According to him, Africa must not be associated with hunger and starvation, disease and avoidable deaths, poverty and underdevelopment if its rich endowments in human, material and natural resources were properly harnessed for the benefits of the citizenry.

“This scenario demands that the science journalists should think out of the box and communicate Science and Technology based on the critical need for addressing issues such as job creation, disease control, food security, crime control, entrepreneurship, energy, health service delivery, housing, education, transportation, climate change and economic stability,” he said.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), he decried, were unattainable by any African country by the year 2015.

The workshop was jointly organised for science journalists by the United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Scientific, Technical and Research Commission (STRC) of the African Union Commission (AUC), at Abuja.

Remmy Nweke

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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