The Science Granting Councils Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa (5GC) today announces thatthe Nigeria Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), has joined the initiative to advance research excellence in sub-Saharan Afrikca.
TETFund is an agency set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria to provide supplementary support to alevels of public tertiaryinstitutions. Its Research and Development (RBD) support is becoming an institutional referenceand has changed Nigeria’s narrative in many aspects.
Nigeria is already a major producer of research in Africa, thougha recent study suggests that ithas the clear potential to do more, gien the number of its universities (196), think-tanks and research professionals.
National growth and competitiveness (in the context of globalized economy) depends verymuch on continuous technological improvement and innovation driven by a well-organized vibrant Research and Development System said Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro, Executive Secretary Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
“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 21century. We are assured of quality partnerships and collaborations on the continent of Africaand beyond”.
Starting in 2015, the Science Granting Councils Initiative has been jcintly funded by the UnitedKingdom’s Foreign, Commoriwealth and Development Office (FCDO, Canada’s InternationalDevelopment Research Centre (IDRC), South Africa’s Naticnal Research Foundation (NRF), theSwedish Intemational Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Geman ResearchFoundation (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 andInnovation Hub, Nigeria has become the 16th country in SGCL Initially it will join other SGCsthrough the SGCI Annual Forum, bilateral excharnge visits and other activities to share lessons inmanaging research funds for maximum impact and to identily areas for future collaborationsuch as joint research calls, as resources become available.
According to Dr. Dominique Charron, Vice-President, Programs and Partnership Branch atCanada’s International Development Research Centre, “with the largest population andeconomy in Africa, Nigeria’s participation expands the potential for the Science GrantingCoundils Initiative to achieve its goals of strengthening science systems and building allianoesbetween science granting councils in multiple regions across the sub-continent andinternationally.”
Dr Aldo Stroebel, Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships at the National ResearchFoundation-South Afria and SGCI Executive Committee Member added 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 Nigerfa, the British High Commissioner toNigeria, Ms Catriona Laing CB said:”Nigeria’s TETFund admission to the Science Granting Councils Initiative is a positive developmentthat will better position Nigeria to maximise the commissioning and use of research fordevelopment, in line with critical national social and economic priorities.
The UK recognises theimportance of sdence to address global challenges, we are pleased to have supported theTETFUND 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.