16th May 2024

A former director of the Institute of Environment and Sanitation Studies at the University of Ghana, Professor Chris Gordon, has urged African universities to promote science, technology and innovation.
He also urged them to invest in human development with emphasis on women and youth as well as vulnerable people, managing natural resources endowments and understanding how to change behaviours.

He added that there is the need for African universities to address emerging global issues, urging them to take advantage of new pedagogical techniques, through augmented reality and simulation, adaptive learning, education technologies based on artificial intelligence with the use of technologies in education.

Professor Gordon made the call while speaking at the Kwapong Lecture last Thursday in Accra. The lecture was held on the theme “Innovation transition and disruption in natural resource management: the role of African university.”
According to him, the challenges of climate variability and change, degraded oceans, loss of air and water quality, as well as the loss of biodiversity, have serious effects on sustainability and present threat to many African economies that rely on their natural resources base.

Achieving SDGs

He said African universities must create nature-based, holistic and a sustainable solution produced by African researchers which encompass the intersection of technology, environment and governance. He added that universities in Africa need to be innovative, by breaking barriers in the way universities teach, to transform the natural resources management on the continent to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs
“Our younger ones must not feel threatened, and we need to avoid the ‘pull him down’ spirit in our educational systems in African continent,” said Professor Gordon.

He noted that the leadership in Africa has woefully failed to provide adequate learning and equal playing ground for the youth, saying African countries do not spend enough on the tertiary educational systems.
Way forward
He admonished students not to just memorise facts to pass exams, adding that there is the need to change a mindset of students to conform to the current system.
He said the youth of today must be empowered to solve issues, and charged the youth to be innovative to take over the helm of affairs of governance.

SOURCE: Daily Statesman

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