The Centre for Sustainable Development at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka (UNIZIK), in collaboration with the United Nations in Nigeria, held a thought-provoking Conclave on Sustainable Development on Thursday, May 9th, 2024. Themed “Resilient Futures, Thriving Communities: Focusing on Well-being through Sustainable Strategies,” the event took place at the ASUU Secretariat Building on the UNIZIK campus.

Her Excellency, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Chairperson of the occasion and Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, highlighted the conclave’s significance as a platform for fostering collaboration and achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UNIZIK’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Joseph Ikechebelu, representing the Vice-Chancellor, emphasized the importance of sustainable development, particularly for industrialized nations, driven by the UN’s ongoing efforts.

The Centre’s Director elaborated on its mission to provide a cross-disciplinary platform for the university to engage with sustainability issues. This includes addressing the growing demand for sustainability education, research, and innovation. The Centre also collaborates with government, businesses, and other stakeholders to maximize the commercial and knowledge-based impact of university-generated sustainability research and knowledge transfer activities.

Several dignitaries delivered remarks, including Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen (represented by Hon. Prof. Paul Nnamchi, Director General of State Security Service Nigeria), Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi (represented by Dr. Peter Afunanya), and Inspector General of Police IGP Kayode Egbetokun (represented by AIG Zone 13, Godwin Aghaulor).

A panel discussion moderated by Dr. Chioma Chetachukwu Ajator explored topical issues related to sustainable development. Panelists included Deputy Managing Director of Zenith Bank PLC, Dame Dr. Adaora Umeoji (represented by Mrs. Nkiru Kingsley Osualor), Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Lady Clem Okorji, Consultant Cardiologist Dr. Nneka Udorah, Anambra State Director of Security Adesina Bolarinwa, and Dr. Kate Ikechi Isa, CEO of The Katchey Group.

Dr. Isa’s presentation, titled “Science Education and Productive Well-being: Ensuring the Basis for Technological Innovation and Sustainability,” emphasized the critical role of science education in Africa’s development. She stressed the need for a digitalized and modernized science curriculum to equip future generations with the skills necessary for technological advancements and problem-solving. Dr. Isa highlighted her efforts to address this gap, with two Lagos State schools currently piloting a digitized science curriculum initiative spearheaded by The Katchey Group.

Dr. Isa also emphasized the importance of Africans investing in research and development to solve unique continental challenges. She invited attendees to visit The Katchey Group’s laboratory in Ikeja, Lagos, to showcase the equipment available for scientific endeavors.

Following her presentation, Dr. Chioma Chetachukwu Ajator inquired about Dr. Isa’s specific contributions to sustainable development. Dr. Isa reiterated her commitment to promoting science education as a foundation for research, innovation, and ultimately, finding solutions like a cure for cancer.

The Conclave culminated in an award ceremony recognizing distinguished personalities who have championed the SDGs. Dr. Kate Ikechi Isa was among the recipients, receiving the Award of Excellence on SDGs Advancement for Science Education, Research and Development.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Tochukwu Oguegbe, Chairman of the Conclave Planning Committee and Deputy Director for Sustainable Development at UNIZIK, expressed gratitude to the dignitaries, panelists, and all those who contributed to the event’s success.

Katchey Decries Analogue System Of Science Education

Katchey Laboratory Limited has decried the analogue science educational system used in teaching Nigerian students, which underscores the educational gap in the digital era. In line with this, the firm has reiterated its commitment to train students and graduates in science practicals, to help them gain hands-on experience so they are properly equipped for the place of work.