The College of Engineering, COLENG has held its International Conference on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as a driving force for sustainable development.

Delivering his Keynote Address at the Opening Ceremony titled, “STEM Education and Sustainable Development in Africa”, the Head of Department, Wood Products Engineering, University of Ibadan, Professor Abel Olorunnisola said that STEM is an interdisciplinary and applied approach that integrates the four disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics into one, rather than teaching each separately.

Professor Olorunnisola likened Science and Technology to Siamese twins that are inseparable with its roots from Asia Minor and Africa.

He described Technology as the application of knowledge, which has to do with innate skills deposited in man and Science as the acquisition of knowledge, that is the quest to learn more and develop on verifiable information and data that one has.

Professor Olorunnisola frowned at the lapses created by Africa in the past, for sticking only to Technology and not seeking further knowledge in Science, not developing their Engineering skill and Mathematics which is applicable to our daily lives.

He noted that the missing link for Africa came as a result of illiteracy, lack of political will to mobilize available Science and Technology manpower, under funding of Science and Technology by government, defective curricula and the huge gap between Universities, Research Institutes and the Society.

He however charged the government to inculcate STEM education into its educational system, to ensure practical solutions to Africa’s economic woes and lead the way for economic growth and sustainable development.

In addition, Professor Olorunnisola called for the incorporation of Science and Technology in Africa’s numerous Small and Medium scales Enterprises (SMEs), which offers tremendous opportunities for growth and employment.

Earlier in his Welcome Address, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kolawole Salako, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Professor Lateef Sanni congratulated COLENG for yet another conference.

The Vice-Chancellor admonished the students present to be humble, interact and network, with scholars and their lecturers, saying that they stand to gain a lot when they do so.

He also canvassed for transparency in all we do, saying that “Transparency is the hallmark of Excellence”, as he charged stakeholders in the University to work together for the upliftment of the FUNAAB.

Also, the Dean, COLENG, Professor Johnson Adewumi had in his welcome address appreciated everybody who is seeing to the success of the conference, which was billed to hold for four days at the College.