Academia has been urged to support African governments to formulate policies that would help strengthen indigenous knowledge and culture for sustainable development.
The call was made by lecturers and scientists from Ghana, Nigeria, Benin and Togo, at the end of a three-day “First International Conference on Culture, Science and Sustainable Development in Africa”, on Wednesday in Cape Coast.
It was contained in a six-point communiqué issued by the participants at the end of the event, which was jointly organized by the University of Cape Coast (UCC) and the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Nigeria.
It was to foster “South-South cooperation” in sharing knowledge on issues on the environment, culture and sustainable development.
The communiqué observed that there was a yawning gap between culture, science and communal activities in Africa.
It urged institutions to lead the crusade to mobilize adequate resources to combat the effects of environmental challenges such as climate change, rise in sea-levels and deforestation
The statement called on governments as well as universities in Africa to support capacity building as part of measures to strengthen their science and culture base so as to maintain the environment and other renewable resources.
It also called for the establishment of an African Centre for Culture, Science and Sustainable Development, to promote sustainable development through research, advocacy, public education on culture, science and education in general.
The Communiqué suggested that the Centre, if established should review the curricula of African universities, particularly those of the UCC and UNILORIN to reflect current global issues.
It urged agencies that formulate development policies to ensure an enabling environment for participatory approach to the planning, implementation and evaluation of agricultural and other development projects to ensure sustainability.
The Vice Chancellor and Chairman of Council of UNILORIN, Professor Peter Okebukola, said although Ghana and Nigeria were politically independent and geographically apart, there was the need for them to complement each other in solving their common problems.
Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Vice-Chancellor of the UCC, said the cooperation between the two universities should be sustained to help find solutions to problems confronting Ghana and Nigeria.
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