The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is collaborating with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) of Nigeria in the development of space technology and research in the Region.
As part of this partnership, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission paid a visit to the NASRDA Headquarters on the 20th of May 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria.
President Brou highlighted the importance of space science and technology to the development of the ECOWAS as a region, in his speech during the visit. He said, “Indeed, ECOWAS considers Space Science to be a unique opportunity for regional cooperation, infrastructure and data sharing.” Adding that it plays important role in risk reduction and disaster management such as droughts, floods and in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
The President commended the management of NASRDA on the good work they are doing, saying that there was need to harmonise policies on space technology, as they will immensely improve the quality of lives of Community citizens.
Speaking during the visit, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology of Nigeria expressed the need for the region to use science technology and innovation to develop its enormous resources in order to improve and develop the region. Adding that science and technology would bridge the development gap, if embraced.
The Director General of NASRDA, Professor S. O. Mohammed, while making a presentation on the programmes and achievements of the Agency emphasised the need of ECOWAS and NASRDA to work together to develop space technology in the region and harmonise its policies.
ECOWAS and NASRDA signed an MoU in 2017, which resulted in the formulation of the ECOWAS Strategy on Space Sciences and Geomatics. The Third Meeting of ECOWAS Ministers in charge of Science and Technology in Cotonou adopted this Strategy in December 2018.