The first international symposium of UNSTIM (National University of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) opened this Tuesday, November 22 on the site of the university in Abomey, district Sogbo Aliho. It brought together various actors from the scientific world, including students from UNSTIM, teacher-researchers, rectoral teams from other public universities in Benin, partner companies and distinguished guests from 14 countries in the sub-region and the world.
The present symposium is organised in homage to the late Professor Gérard Dègan, the first rector of UNSTIM. It is also coupled with the university’s first career days to discover the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sectors.
Entitled “Technological innovations in Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM): key levers for Benin’s industrial development”, this meeting aims to further develop applied research, particularly in the field of STEM. “The vision of the rectoral team is to make UNSTIM a university of excellence in diversified and inclusive research as an engine of social and economic progress recognized throughout the world,” said Professor Aristide Comlan Houngan, vice rector of UNSTIM in charge of university research.
According to Professor Joachim Djimon Gbénou, Rector of UNSTIM, a total of 236 papers are on the menu, divided into five different workshops. According to him, about fifty exhibitions are also presented in the stands for the trade days. These exhibitions come from students, professionals and the university’s private partners.
Proceeding to the official opening of the works, Professor Philippe Lalèyè, representative of the Minister of Higher Education who was unable to attend, said that the present meeting is an opportunity to correct the backwardness of African countries in the fields of mathematics and exact sciences in general. Because, he says, “we are in an era where only the countries that have jumped on the bandwagon of scientific and technological innovation have a place in the concert of nations.
The Technical Advisor for Academic Activities, Research and Innovation also invited the participants to work hard to ensure that the university becomes a laboratory that supplies industries with competent executives and sets the pace for sustainable development. “If Asia has become, in less than half a century, the world’s industrial factory, with countries that were once very poor and whose economies and development now command respect, it is thanks to the awareness of its managers that scientific and technological innovation is a guarantee of sustainable development,” said Professor Philippe Lalèyè.
After breaks for poetic declamation and cultural events, the visit of the stands by the various actors finally marked the official launch of the work of this first symposium. This visit made it possible to note the technological innovations developed not only by students of the different entities of UNSTIM, but also by other universities of Benin and also by industrial partners of UNSTIM. It should be noted that the work ends on Friday 25 November.