By Fortune Abang
Israel says it will continue to support innovative Nigerian youths by developing their innovative ideas toward the industrialisation of the country in particular, and Africa at large.
Mr Yotam Kreiman, Charge d’ Affairs of Israel to Nigeria made this known in his address at the two-day closing ceremony of the Innovation Fellowship for Aspiring Inventors and Researchers (i-FAIR) programme.
The programme, which began Dec. 1, was organised by the embassy, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President and Skill G Ltd., Gregory University and DeNovo, private sector-based organisations.
He commended 2021/21 i-FAIR participants for completion of the innovation programme amidst challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, while extolling Mr Shimon Ben-Shoshan, former Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria, for his efforts.
“I-FAIR is a platform committed to supporting innovative Nigerians, especially youths in transforming their ideas to inventions that will drive inclusive and viable industrialization in Africa.
“The initiative was created through the partnership of Israel, Skill-G and the Federal Government, to establish an ecosystem of innovation in Nigeria.
“The goal of this initiative is to identify potential, as well as gaps between prospects, successes and subsequently bridge those gaps, after a 9-months programme by Israel and Nigeria.
“I-FAIR initiative has produced 34 start-ups, which have reached prototypes development stage, to address market needs in the fields of security, food technology, medical simulators, green/renewable energy and social responsibility.
“Israel is hoping to inspire Nigeria’s start-up work, creativity and commitment on the part of our fellows, mentors, experts and partners have played in bridging innovative ideas to reality,” he said.
In a remark, Mr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, commended the organisers for the initiative, saying it would further deepen scientific and technological relations between the two countries.
According to him, the ministry will play its part to ensure full realisation of the objectives of i-FAIR.
Onu said, “We also commend Israeli Embassy for all you have been doing in this country; this is clear example of your interest in making sure knowledge is transferred.
“When I came in December, experts from Israel took me round some of the equipment and I think the relationship between our two countries will continue to grow from strength to strength.
“The relationship is one that will be of great benefit to both Nigeria and Israel.”
Meanwhile, Prof. Gregory Ibe, Chief Executive Officer of Skill “G” organisation, expressed appreciation to the Israeli Embassy and the Federal Government, for contributing to success recorded.
“In every strata of our Nigeria society, we deal with one person and that person is human beings.
“We are all blessed, have talent and somehow we die with it, because we do not have a place to vent, may be aspire or bring the ideas to fruition and that is all Skill “G” is all about,” Ibe said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme, with the theme; “Transforming Ideas into Invention”, is centered on agriculture, health, education, energy and homeland security. (NAN)