Prof. Peter Okebukola, Former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), has called on African countries to invest more in education in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Okebukola made the call at the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Africa Forum 2023 on Monday at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun.
The conference has as its theme as: “Education Africa 2030 and Beyond-Sustainability and Social Impact in an African Context”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the two-day conference organised by Covenant University in collaboration with QS will end on Tuesday.
The former NUC boss said the implementation of policies on areas like education and food security require political will from both the leaders and followers.
He noted that looking at the SDGs; most African countries are stil far from achieving them due to poor investment in education.
He said that continents outside Africa are already moving closer to achieving the goals by 2030 as a result of their massive investments in education.
“The 55 countries in Africa are far from investing enough in education which will make it difficult to achieve SDGs by 2030.
“There is the need for African countries both the leadership and followership to strive towards putting more money in education, because there is need for a greater investment in education.
“And within the greater investment framework, they should ensure that there are no leakages into pockets,” he said.
Okebukola further appealed to all stakeholders to do the needful by tackling corruption so that by 2030 and beyond, African countries will get to the Promised Land.
He explained that the conference was about using education as a catalyst to accelerate and drive attainment of the SDGs.
In his opening remarks, Dr David Oyedepo, Chancellor, Covenant University, said that every great nation is a function of the valuable contributions from individuals and organisations within its domain.
Oyedepo stressed the need for African countries to find indigenous solutions to their problems through massive investment in education.
“A lot of potential are wasting away because Africans are not committed to solving their problems,” he said.
The chancellor said it is time for Africa to look inwards and proffer numerous solutions by investing more in education.
Similarly, Ms Veronica Omeni, Principal Consultant &Forum Chairman, QS, United Kingdom, said that the Africa Forum 2023 was not just a conference but a meeting of minds with lofty ideas.
Omeni said it was a call to invest in data-driven strategic approaches to designing, managing and developing education that meets the needs of Africans in an African context.
She said the need for more investment in quality education had never been more urgent, adding that it acts as a catalyst for profound societal change and empowering individuals to transform their lives and communities.
Also, Dr Ashwin Fernandes, Executive Director, Africa, Middle East/South, Asia, QS United Kingdom, said the focus was to explore and strategise on educational approaches and systems that can foster sustainability and encourage social impact.
Fernandes said that the theme of the forum is pertinent, as it stands at the height of a rapidly evolving world.
“There is a profound understanding that the role of education remains as pivotal as ever, serving as the cornerstone for cultivating sustainable growth and driving meaningful social change within our African communities.” he said.