Speaking at a one day workshop on the project in Abuja, Prof Ewa said the Silicon Valley project is expected to drive innovation and create massive economic activities through the complete value chains of solar technology, nanotechnology, biotechnology, ICT and agricultural technology.
According to the minister, the project will also open ways to indigenous manufacture of microprocessors, silicon chips, integrated circuit and other associated products.
“This project will be private sector driven and is expected to serve as a novel example of the Triple Helix Model of Innovation where the Government, Universities/Research Institutions and Industry will work harmoniously through synergy. SHESTCO Silicon Valley will support and enhance technology and innovation, create technology-based firms, attract foreign direct investments, improve our electricity supply infrastructure, create jobs and boost our economy”, he said.
The minister also said all nations that have adopted science and technology as the driver of their economies have all emerged as the economic giants of the present day, adding that Nigeria would also tow the same line.
In his goodwill message, the UNESCO Country Representative Prof Hassana Alidou said science and tech are key contributors to poverty reduction.
She said the systemic application of science and technological knowledge to development has been a major factor for rapid economic progress of many developed countries.
Many countries in Africa may not achieve any of the development objectives of the MDGs unless there is substantial investment in building the human resources capacity and promotion of scientific research and innovation, she said.
According to her, UNESCO is working with most African countries including Nigeria to reform their science and innovation systems and assist them in elaborating strategies and programmes within the framework of the African Science Technology and Innovation Policy Initiative (ASTIP).
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