Obasanjo, Gonsalves suggest solutions to Africa, Caribbean challenges

Former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves have suggested ways Africans and Caribbeans could improve on the technological development of the continents.

They spoke at the 15th Convocation Lecture of the Bells University of Technology (BELLSTECH) Ota, Ogun state.

In a release by the Special Assistant on Media to the former President, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo noted that Africans and the Caribbeans must look at other economic sectors to bring development to the continents.

The convocation lecture with the theme: Technological Emancipation of Africa in the Digital Space and the Global Drive for Reparations, the Prime Minister hinted that him and Obasanjo had met in recent times proffering ways on how both continents could improve developments for the continents.

“Our beloved ‘Baba’ and I have been engaged recently in conversations on the developmental challenges, and their possible solutions, in Africa, the Caribbean, and the wider African diaspora.

“On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Afreximbank we were on stage together with the Bank’s President, Professor Benedict Oramah, in mid-June 2023, in Accra, Ghana, discussing the theme “Delivering the Vision, Building Prosperity for Africans.

“Six weeks later, on July 30th, Baba Obasanjo, together with the revered elder statesman of Jamaica, Percival J. Patterson, and me were hosted by Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados in a fascinating, and indeed compelling global, discourse under the rubric Emancipation Conversation: Three Legends, Three Perspectives, One Conversation: Reparations and Beyond.

“Shortly thereafter, Baba honoured the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines with a memorable visit to my country. It is now my turn to be with my dearest Brother, his people, the Faculty, the students, and the leadership of Bells University of Technology, including Vice Chancellor Professor Jeremiah Ojediran, here in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria, the most populous of the 54-member-states of the African Union, and the ancestral homeland of large numbers of the population of our Caribbean, our Diaspora,” Gonslaves disclosed.

“Our shared experiences must be translated into shared expressions, institutionally. That is a central reason why I am here with you today.

“The seventh edition of the UNESCO Science Report, published in 2021, and entitled “the race against time for smarter development”, makes a series of apt pronouncements, including the following: It is striking how development priorities have aligned over the past five years. Countries of all income levels are prioritizing their transition to digital and “green” economies, in parallel.

“This dual transition reflects a double imperative. On the one hand, the clock is ticking for countries to reach their Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. On the other, countries are convinced that their future economic development will depend upon how quickly they transition to digital societies”, said the PM.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Jeremiah Oludele Ojediran in his Convocation speech, disclosed that on the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Sub-Sahara universities rankings, the university was on Reporters Status in 2023.

“In addition, BELLSTECH now ranks on the 51-60 belt on the sub-Sahara universities ranking and 12 in Nigeria,” with a total of 295 students with 32 with First Class graduating in the outgoing session.

“The University products are world changers who start the next phase by positively impacting the immediate community. News of our alumni tell how they are glowing as offsprings of this vision. You must go and do likewise. You are the next batch of world changers being presented today. Do not drop the baton,” he said.

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