Aje Heritage Economic Summit: Communities Urged To Embrace Modern Technologies For Socioeconomic Transformation

Aje Heritage Economic Summit: Communities Urged To Embrace Modern Technologies For Socioeconomic Transformation

The Iyalaje Oodua Worldwide, Princess Dr. Toyin Kolade flanked by some of the speakers at the 2022 Aje Heritage Economic Summit in Ile-Ife, Osun State
The Iyalaje Oodua Worldwide, Princess Dr. Toyin Kolade flanked by some of the speakers at the 2022 Aje Heritage Economic Summit in Ile-Ife, Osun State

Rural communities across the country have been urged to champion the course of their socioeconomic development by playing the frontal role in embracing modern technological innovations.

This advise was given by Dr. (Mrs.) Adejoke Odumosu, a Renewable Energy Solution expert while speaking on the topic "Technology And Innovation In Sustainable Energy Transition" at the 2022 edition of the Aje Heritage Economic Summit, held on Friday, the 25th of February, 2022 at the Ojaja Arena, located inside the Ife Grand Resorts and Industrial Hub, Ibadan Road, Ile-Ife, Osun State.

According to Mrs. Odumosu, investing in community based projects by expatriates or businessmen from the larger cities is hampered by a number of factors ranging from community issues to cost implications.

"It is costing us too much and is not making us to move as fast as we should do because we don't have it. We have to plead with these technical experts to come from all over. They could get there and there is one community issue, say land disagreement for instance, they are out.

"These developers are businessmen who want to make their returns as quick as possible and so they would rather prefer to stay in the urban areas, provide light there and get their money than coming to the rural.

"So we need to develop ourselves in-house. Individually in our respective homes, villages, communities and networking, we need to see how we can pull ourselves up and get there.", she said.

Mrs Odumosu further stressed that in addition to government efforts in rural energy projects, relevant bodies especially institutions of higher learning can contribute to the realization of this objective, particularly in the area of training and capacity building.

"Tertiary institutions should make renewable energy a complsory course in the science curriculum in a bid to boosting knowledge and experience transfer.", she noted.

Also contributing on the role of technology in sustainable agricultural practice, an agricultural extension expert, Mr. John Ogunlela lamented on the near abandonment of agriculture, particularly farming to the people in the rural areas, a scenario he said is common the developing economies.

"When yo study agriculture across the World, you will see that it is only in the developing countries including Nigeria that agriculture is left not just to the private sector but also to the weak and poor people who have no idea on how to improve their practices", Ogunlela said.

He noted that it is counterproductive to leave a critical sector of the economy like agriculture to the people in the rural areas who, according to him lack the requisite technical expertise and resources to thrive.

In his contribution, a housing expert, Dr. Oluwarotimi Adedeji emphasized the need for government to place priority on creating jobs for the citizens and ensuring an enabling environment as important ways to attaining a sustainable national housing programme.

He maintained that such sustainable national housing programme is hampered by a number of factors according to him include but not limited to the difficulty in securing access to the housing fund and the insufficiency of the fund even when granted.

"There is no way a government will stand up and say let me start building houses for people. If you build houses for people and there is no employment for the people you are building houses for, they will end up selling the houses because hunger will chase them out of there.

"Even people working in government institutions find it difficult to access the national housing fund due to tidious protocol while the money even when approved is just so small that it cannot build a house" 

The Summit, first of its kind was part of the activities marking the celebration of this year's edition of the global Aje Festival held between Friday 25th and Monday 28th of February, 2022 in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Southwest, Nigeria.

Aje Festival is an annual traditional and cultural event held in celebration of 'Aje', the deity of wealth, market profitability and economic prosperity under the custody of the Iyalaje Oodua Worldwide, Princess (Dr.) Toyin Kolade and the supreme authority of the Arole Oduduwa, Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II.

The 2022 Aje Heritage Economic Summit with the theme, "Unlocking Innovative Trade and Business Opportunities with Technology for Wealth Creation and Prosperity" was a gathering of experts from various walks of life spanning across agriculture, health, finance, housing, among others.

The Summit according to a press statement earlier published by the Festival media committee chaired by Otunba Moses Olafare, who doubles as the Director of Media and Public Affairs, Ooni's Palace has been incorporated into the annual programmes of the Festival to offer optimum opportunity for business executives from home and abroad to get first hand information on the current innovative trends in the global business environment in order to help them make a more informed business decisions.

Other activities which added glamour to the 2022 edition of the renowned festival included the Aje Music Fiesta, Aje Movie Screening as well as Aje Festival Exhibition, a four Days showcase of business and product innovations across sectors.

The Iyalaje Oodua Worldwide and the global ambassador of the Aje Festival, Princess (Dr.) Toyin Kolade thanked participants and the entire people who graced the occasion for their support and contributions towards making the summit a success, assuring that next year's edition will be bigger and better.

The event had in attendance dignitaries and top officials from both public and the private sector including the veteran Journalist and ace broadcaster, Ambassador (Dr) Yemi Farounbi, Nigerian Ambassador designate to the Republic of Philippines.

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