The Nigeria SDSN (NSDSN), the first national branch of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, was launched on May 7th in Abuja. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on the MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol formally launched this initiative, saying that the NSDSN was “a unique opportunity to create solutions and transformational changes” for Nigeria.
The NSDSN is a consortium of Nigerian universities working to address the challenges of sustainable development in Nigeria and is committed to the promotion of sustainable development through teaching, learning, research, and outreach activities. The formation of this Consortium was endorsed by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigeria’s Federal Universities in January 2013 and it was officially formed in March.
Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the SDSN and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, gave the keynote address, highlighting the important role that universities have to play for sustainable development (click here to see Prof. Sachs’ presentation). Representing President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister of State for Education Nyeson Wike read a message of goodwill and support. He noted that, “collaboration with universities is key to achieve the agenda of sustainable development.” Also in attendance was the Honourable Alhassan Addo Doguwa, Chair of the House Committee on the MDGs. He called for “all hands on deck to achieve colossal agenda of sustainable development” and vowed that the National Assembly would support any important projects.
The launch was extensively covered on Nigerian National Television including on its prime time newscast. Radio Nigeria also featured the event (click here to listen to the broadcast).
The NSDSN is co-directed by Prof. Ikenna Onyido, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Development at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, and Prof. Labode Popoola, Director of the Centre For Sustainable Development at the University of Ibadan. 25 federal universities form the core of this Consortium and other universities and knowledge centres will join to accelerate practical problem solving for sustainable development at the local, national, and regional levels. The SDSN looks forward to supporting their work in Nigeria, and involving additional stakeholders in the conversation.
For more information, visit our Membership page and the NSDSN website: www.nsdsn.org.ng.