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 which
would improve its PhD training and research activities.
A member of the organising committee for the
workshop, Prof Gbenga Nubi, said 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
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
According to him, such support will spur African researchers to look
at areas that should be researched into, such as urbanisation, health
“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
“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, Academics 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
- 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
“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.
It may be recalled 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