The University of Lagos ( UNILAG ) says it has concluded arrangements for its research agenda setting workshop and launch of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centres of Excellence, would improve its PhD training and research activities.
Prof Gbenga Nubi, a member of the organising committee for the workshop, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Lagos that the ARUA centres would provide a platform for speedy provision of solutions to every day challenges.
The launching and workshop, planned for Sept. 6 to Sept. 7 is a collaboration between the university and ARUA.
The centres of excellence to be launched are ARUA Centre of Excellence for Urbanisation and Habitable Cities in Africa and ARUA Centre of Excellence for Unemployment and Skills Development in Africa.
“The two-day event has Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Secretary-General of ARUA and Prof. Wellington Oyibo, Director, Research and Innovation, University of Lagos as speakers.
Nubi, also the Founding Director, Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development of the institution, added that the essence of the launch was to set an agenda on what the centre would be doing in the next five years.
The one time Dean, Faculty of Environmental Sciences noted that such issues confronting the society as transportation, slum and healthcare system among others would be brought to the fore.
He added that already, ARUA was ready to support these centres with millions of dollars each year for five years for improved PhD training and research.
According to him, such support will spur African researchers to look at areas that should be researched into, such as urbanisation, health and others.
“That is why universities in Africa agreed after wide consultations that the way forward should be the establishment of centres of excellence in some selected universities and UNILAG happens to be one of such universities with two centres,” he said.
Meanwhile one of the speakers at the upcoming event, Oyibo, UNILAG’s Director, Research and Innovation, also told NAN that the launch and workshop, was set to take up leadership in the areas of urban and smart cities as well as entrepreneurial and skills development in Africa.
“There is going to be a kind of national and continental gadget that will drive development.
“It will equally provide direction to countries, states, governments and agencies through the development of critical mass and multi-state engagements that will deliver progress.
“The situation of these centres in UNILAG is set to make a strong impact in the society and nation.
“It is going to be Africa’s strategy to answer questions around sustaining cities, entrepreneurship and youth empowerment,” Oyibo said
Contributing, the institution’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academemics and Research, Prof. Oluwole Familoni, said the launch would give the university a wonderful beginning in the execution of its mandate.
“We are indeed excited at the development and at the same time set to go. We are happy the launch is about to take place so that we can generate some funds to hit the ground running.
“You know we cannot operate just like that without first launching these two centres in an effort to raise some money to carry out our mandate.
“It is going to be a grand event as we are expecting all the ARUA Deputy Vice-Chancellors from across Africa.
“May I also say that the centres were contested for and of the total 11, UNILAG won two. It is also something worth celebrating.
NAN reports that ARUA was inaugurated in 2015 in Dakar, Senegal, bringing together 16 of the region’s leading universities.
It is a network of universities from various countries in Africa with a common vision.
The network is about expanding and enhancing significantly the quality of research done in Africa by African researchers.
ARUA is intended to develop local research excellence through collaboration to find solutions to the developmental problems of the continent.