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Nigeria, other developing economies to access seed money from new UN Tech Bank

In what can be described as the last legacy of United Nations outgoing Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon to less developed nations, the UN General Assembly has unveiled Technology Bank for developing economies.

The Technology Bank would be financed by voluntary contributions from Member States and other stakeholders, including the private sector and foundations. It is expected that the Technology Bank will begin operations next year with headquarters in Turkey.

The Technology Bank aims to assist the world’s poorest countries in building their national and regional capacities in the areas of intellectual property rights and technology related policies, as well as facilitate the transfer of technologies on voluntary and mutually agreed terms and conditions and in the process, accelerate the least developed countries integration into the knowledge-based economy.

UN said on its website Tuesday that “The Technology Bank is intended to help least developed countries strengthen their science, technology and innovation capacities, foster the development of national and regional innovation ecosystems that can attract outside technology and generate homegrown research and take these advancements to market”.

High-Representative and Under-Secretary-General for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya said “The poorest countries in the world cannot eradicate poverty, achieve strong and sustainable development and build resilience without expanding their scientific and technological bases. They need to effectively utilise technology to leapfrog various stages of their development process in order to meet the goals of the Istanbul Programme of Action and the 2030 Agenda”.

“The global community has a responsibility to ensure that these nations are supported as they make progress towards strengthening their science, technology and innovation capacities for eradicating poverty, accelerating structural transformation and building resilience.

“The establishment of the Technology Bank is a vital milestone in this journey which my office has consistently supported. I thank the Government of Turkey for hosting it and call on the Government of Turkey and all the development partners to provide committed and sustained levels of support for its effective operationalization,” he added.

The approval came from the Resolution A/71/L.52, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, to officially establish the Technology Bank.

Experts say the move has indicated that the global body clearly understood the fact that “the importance to improve least developed countries’ scientific research and innovation base, promote networking among researchers and research institutions, help least developed countries access and utilize critical and appropriate technologies”, while “building upon bilateral initiatives, the coordinated support by multilateral institutions, including the relevant entities of the United Nations system, such as the Technology Facilitation Mechanism, and the private sector.”

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