Today, March 9, 2020, the Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows Alumni Association, Nigeria (COSFAN) join the globe to celebrate the Commonwealth day 2020. The theme for the 2020 Commonwealth Day is Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming. This theme was chosen because the governments and people of the diverse family of 54 Commonwealth countries connect at many levels through extensive and deep-rooted networks of friendship and goodwill.
The 53 Commonwealth countries, with diverse backgrounds, are united in order to enjoy certain privileges. To achieve this, old links and new ties were forged to CONNECT these member countries with over 2.4 billion people through a common charter. The overall objective is to achieve economic and political cooperation. To promote meaningful and orderly relationship among member countries, some principles known as “Commonwealth Shared Values” have been developed. They include:
• Protection of Natural Resources and environment
• Agenda for Trade and Investment
• Recognition of the Needs of Small and Vulnerable States
• Propagation of Democracy and its Principles
• Promotion of Health and Education and more
Furthermore, Six critical points worthy of mentioning which relate to connectivity in trade and investment include:
• Physical Connectivity
• Digital Connectivity
• Regulatory Connectivity
• Business – Business Connectivity
• Supply Connectivity
• Inclusive and Sustainable Trade to Ensure Main-Streaming of Women and Youth in Economics Empowerment.
Together, the countries and people of the Commonwealth tackle climate change and its impacts. Working to find sustainable ways of using the natural resources of our planet, its land and ocean, so that our environment is protected.
Towards impactful innovation, the issues surrounding collaboration and cooperation shared by member countries of the Commonwealth Nations were re-enforced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which was issued on the 25th of September, 2015. Accordingly, it made the following important provisions:
– Promotion of sports and youth empowerment
– Achievement of gender equality and women empowerment
– Reduction of poverty among member countries
– Activation of food security in order to end hunger
– Ensuring inclusive and equitable education
– Building resilient infrastructure by promoting inclusive sustainable industrialization
– Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns
– Promotion of peaceful and inclusive society and more.
Together, we work to build peace and harmony through social and democratic development. The investment to promote social development and democratic governance is premised on transforming the pervading conflict and violence manifesting in armed conflicts, biological weapons, displacement situations among others into peaceful environment where all round development can strive.
Delivering a Common Future
Together, we encourage inclusive economic empowerment and fair trade so that all people, particularly women, young people and those in marginalised communities can share the fruits of progress and prosperity. Together, we are delivering a common future by connecting, innovating and transforming our societies.
COSFAN is a body consisting of eminent Nigerians who have enjoyed the sponsorship of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC), United Kingdom (through the British Council in Nigeria), in their respective postgraduate academic pursuits and/or career enhancement from 1960 to date, with its main objective of promoting and advancing education, especially in tertiary institutions, in order to create an aware and informed society of Nigeria. Over 2,000 Nigerians have benefitted from the UK scholarship and fellowship training.
Our programmes and activities are targeted towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in six thematic areas focus of Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC), UK. Viz: Science and Technology for development; Strengthening health systems and capacity; Promoting global prosperity; Strengthening global peace, security and governance; Strengthening resilience and response to crises; Access, inclusion and opportunity.
COSFAN engage Universities in Nigeria in mentorship programmes in training young researchers and students on accessing Commonwealth scholarship and fellowship awards. Also, in 2019, in pursuit of access, inclusion and opportunity for persons living with disabilities, COSFAN produced 5,000 copies of simplified version of Lagos State Special People’s Law (2010), freely sharing them to the public through the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development and Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs (LASODA), among other community interventions.
. Adimula is the President of the Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows Alumni Association, Nigeria.