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IBCE&W 2022: Professor Adebayo Task Experts to Evolve Means to Deliver Dividends of SDGs

The Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, Professor Abiodun H. Adebayo, has called on experts in the biotechnology field of learning to quickly work at evolving means of confronting the plethora of challenges bedevilling development globally and deliver on the expectations of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Professor Adebayo made the appeal during his opening remarks at the 10th International Biotechnology Conference, Exhibition and Workshop 2022 (IBCE&W) opening. The Vice-Chancellor said the global community is being confronted with the challenge of how to foster sustainable development amidst increasing populations, environmental degradation, and climate change.

Professor Adebayo said the current changes in the natural ecosystem are having a multifaceted negative effect on healthcare, sustainable agricultural productivity, and well-being. "As temperature rises and rainfall patterns change, plant disease outbreaks are increasing, posing a huge threat to agriculture," he posited.

He stated that whereas there are existing biotechnologies that bring succour to the devastating effects of ecological change, there is a need for African nations to embrace these technologies.

"The challenges confronting the continent on biotechnology and biosafety include a lack of funds; a loss of trained technical expertise; slow biotechnology sector development; insufficient Intellectual Property Rights infrastructure; government not taking a more active political role in promoting the technology; and the issue of public acceptance caused by activism," he says.

Professor Adebayo submitted that the twin challenges of inadequate policies and legal frameworks require urgent attention that should be led primarily by Africans if it is to achieve credibility and buy-in by all stakeholders in the continent's wellbeing. "We hope that the communiqué from this conference and workshop will help to address these issues highlighted," he added.

The Vice-Chancellor concluded by reiterating Covenant University’s commitment to excellence and global best practices in the area of research and development across multidisciplinary fields of knowledge, pledging to encourage full and unwavering support of efforts to enhance competencies in inclusive development, qualitative research output, collaborative research, and manpower training in every field of human endeavour towards a productively sustainable Africa.

In his goodwill message, the President of the Biotechnology Society of Nigeria (BSN), Professor Mohammed Bello Yerima, congratulated Covenant University for its consistency in hosting the annual conference over the years.

Professor Yerima appreciated the University Management for the assemblage of world-class equipment for teaching and researching the subject of biotechnology, noting that there was no doubt that the Biotechnology programme in Covenant is the best in the country, and charged the BSN family in Covenant to be at the forefront of vaccine manufacturing in the nation.

He commended the keynote speaker for finding time to share his experience with the audience, noting the importance of bringing a practical perspective to bear in his presentation as it pertains to the study of biotechnology in Nigeria.

The theme of the 10th International Biotechnology Conference, Exhibition and Workshop is "Biotechnological Tools to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals," with the Director, West Africa Hub and Head, Genetic Resources Centre, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria, Professor Michael Abberton, delivering the keynote address.






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