PROFESSOR ONWUALU HARPS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE AFRICA POLICY DISCOURSE (TAPD)

The Acting President of the African University of Science and Technology(AUST), Abuja, Professor Azikiwe Peter Onwualu, FAS has stressed the need for policy makers, industrialists, the academia and in fact members of the public to embrace the Africa Policy Discourse put in place by the university in order to advance Science and technology in Africa.

Professor Onwualu disclosed this while briefing senior management team of the university on his policy thrust in the new year. He emphasized that no nation or continent survives by relegating Science and Technology policies or innovations to the background.

He said that the realization of this paved the way for the inauguration of “The Africa Policy Discourse (TAPD)” last year and enjoined all and sundry to embrace it.

The Africa Policy Discourse (TAPD) is a platform promoted by the AUST, as part of its responsibilities towards researching and contributing to the resolution of socioeconomic challenges in Africa, from the policy perspective.

The concept of TAPD arose from the mandate by Prof. Azikiwe Peter ONWUALU (AUST Ag. President) to the AUST Department of Public Policy, to fashion out approaches for interrogating policies across science, technology, engineering, innovation, economics, health, management, agriculture, energy, governance, infrastructure and other disciplines.

The current state of development in Africa when assessed by major development indices is to a large extent, a demonstration of how well public policy has fared in the continent. Given the integrated and complex nature of public policy, the need therefore arises for a platform where major policy issues that affect the continent can be assessed, discussed and reviewed, with the aim of contributing to better policy outcomes. This is the raison d’etre for ‘The Africa Policy Discourse’.

The objectives of TAPD, he stressed includes; to provide a platform for rigorous assessment of public policy issues that concern Africa, to facilitate cross-college evaluation of policies, with a view to supporting enhanced policy outcomes and to promote the culture of extensive review of policy propositions by policy makers, for the attainment of development objectives.

It would be noted that the inaugural discourse took place on Thursday, October 27, 2022, and had Dr. DanAzumi M. Ibrahim, Director General of National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), as Guest Speaker. The discourse was titled ‘Strategic Acquisition and Promotion of Technology for Sustainable Development in Africa: The Nigerian Perspective’.

Another discourse titled “Data Protection Policies and Economic Competitiveness: The Nigerian Perspective”, which would be delivered by Dr. Vincent Olatunji, National Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), has been scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 8, 2023 by 10am.

A number of other speakers are being confirmed for TAPD in 2023.

The AUST periodic policy compendium, and institutional linkages with other Nelson Mandela Institutes (NMIs) across Africa, provides the platform for continental dissemination of the experiences and best practices that are derived from discourse papers.

The TAPD has as Chairman: Prof. Azikiwe Peter Onwualu FAS, Vice Chairman: Dr. Olanrewaju Adebayo, Coordinator: Dr. Chukwuemeka Uwanaka and program officer, Ejemen Salami.