Report of the 7th Annual Ibadan Sustainable Development Summit (ISDS), held at the University of Ibadan and the Centre for Sustainable Development (CESDEV), Ibadan, Nigeria, 22 – 24 August 2016
The ISDS is an initiative of the University of Ibadan Centre for Sustainable Development (UI CESDEV) which was launched in 2010 to engage stakeholders across sectors in a global annual discourse in order to raise awareness, work on practical solutions, and encourage innovations towards the achievement of the SDGs in the African context. With the creation of SDSN Nigeria in 2013, the University of Ibadan Centre for Sustainable Development (CESDEV) has been co-organizing the conference in its function as the hosting institution of the network.
With the SDGs formally adopted in September 2015, this year’s ISDS marks the beginning of a series of awareness creation, planning, implementation, evaluation and progress measurement of the goals in Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world.
Great Participation Levels at the 7th ISDS
This year’s summit was a great success in terms of participation and active engagement levels! Over 400 people attended the opening ceremony, while the technical sessions counted on the participation of 180 persons from academia, research centers, government, the private sector, NGOs, and civil societies from Ghana, Colombia, Italy, Cameroun, the Netherlands, India, Rwanda, Benin and Nigeria.
Also in terms of active participation, 2016 marked a distinguished high: With more than 160 presentations, including 144 research papers, the number of contributions almost tripled last year’s result.
The conference also led to the organization of a number of side events: Distinguished scholars were interviewed live at various media houses, public interactive programs and classroom dialogues, as well the SDSN Nigeria Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place. The latter recorded a huge success with the participation of more than 60 attendees from knowledge-oriented and development organizations, including 35 Sustainable Development Desk Officers (SDDOs) who represented 20 academic institutions across the regions of the country.
Major Discussions and Summit Focus
The keynote presentations addressed the need for all stakeholders to come together for the purpose of harmonizing various solutions initiatives to resolve common economic, social and environmental challenges facing the country. To avoid duplication of projects and wastage of resources and efforts has been highlighted as an essential issue with regards to achieving the SDGs. Other presentations prioritized data system restructuring, strategic planning for SDG implementation, effective use of limited resources, massive infrastructural development, enhancing the agricultural value chain and scaling up post-harvest technology and productivity, inclusive governance and decision-making, community leadership coordination and strategic media participation.
Major Outcomes from the Summit
The discourse welcomed diverse views, comments, and observations from participants which stressed the need for:
1) a holistic and integrated approach to address educational challenges with emphasis on the quality of training and retraining of staff, the renovation and upgrade of facilities, as well as promoting the learning culture and inherent value,
2) SDG-related and development-oriented research in all public institutions to promote innovations, solutions, and employability of youths,
3) sustainable agricultural practice that is climate-smart, technology-driven, industrially advanced, environmentally friendly, economically sustainable and profitable,
4) country populations to be more productive through increased access to education, child planning and awareness creation on its importance,
5) robust monitoring of poverty indicators to include not only the monetary index but also indicators related to access to health and education,
6) good research, talent hunting, empowerment and mentorship for sustainable, inclusive growth and nation building which will ensure a great future for people, planet, and prosperity.
Conclusion and Moving Forward
The robust deliberations offered some practical solutions, strategic approaches, and mechanisms towards resolving the various identified problems across sectors within the country and beyond.
The Summit adds to SDSN Nigeria’s successes in promoting membership and launching its five Working and Research Groups, among which the Thematic Research Group is to work on SDG-related proposals and projects, as well as on the formalization of six new partnerships, collaboration efforts on SDG advocacy and projects of public-private partnership (PPP).
More information here: http://nsdsn.org.ng/