The Association of West African Universities (AWAU) has called on all members to share ideas and values towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A statement by Mr Ibrahim Sheme, Director, Media and Publicity, National Open University (NOUN) on Wednesday in Abuja, said the call was made at opening ceremony of AWAU’s 5th Annual Conference in Niamey, Niger Republic.
Sheme said that the conference which started on Monday had the theme, “Attaining the Sustainable Development Goals: Roles of Universities.”
He said that AWAU tasked universities to live up to the expectations of achieving the SDGs.
Sheme said AWAU’s Chairman, Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali, who is also the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin reminded members of the forthcoming world leaders gathering in New York for the launch of the SDGs.
Sheme quoted Ambali as saying: ‘’the agenda of the New York gathering focused on transforming the world by the year 2030 and would tackle about 181 issues, among which education was placed number four.
“Though education features among the goals, the truth is none of the goals can be achieved without education.
“This means that education, which the late African statesman Nelson Mandela described as the most powerful weapon which one can use to change the world, is the vehicle that will convey all the SDGs to fruition.
“Without universities, not only education but the entire SDGs will be a complete nullity.
“All these cannot be achieved without commitment to working hard and working together on the part of the stakeholders from government, development partners to universities and the people themselves.’’
Sheme said that Ambali harped on the need for universities to play a significant role at the level of providing leadership, fostering partnership, developing human capacity, increasing research, create awareness and promoting knowledge.
“I will want us to think on how we can further domesticate and attain the SDGs within our institutions and host community,” the statement quoted Ambali as saying.
AWAU was founded in 2011 to promote collaboration among member universities by focusing on thematic issues bordering on development and advancement in the West Africa region.