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OAU Hosts 5th AfricaLics Doctoral Academy
3 months, 1 week ago Posted in: Events 0

The Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, is playing host to numerous scientists and technologists from all over the globe for the fifth (5th) Doctoral Academy and Open Symposium of the African Network for the Economics of Learning, Innovation and Competence Building Systems (AfricaLics) with the theme; “Rethinking National Innovation System for Africa’s Development”.

The programme, which highlight is its two-week intensive doctoral academy, offers training for thirty (30) African doctoral candidates whose research works are selected by a team of scholars and reviewers, is hosted by OAU’s African Institute for Science Policy and Innovation (AISPI) in collaboration with the National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM) with support from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) through AfricaLics.

In his flag-off remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor ‘Tope Ogunbodede, bemoaned the lull that trailed the initiative of the then University administration of Professor Michael Faborode to have AISPI upgraded to a UNESCO Category II Institute, describing it aptly as the height of institutional unseriousness which must change if the aspiration to have the University repositioned so as to consolidate the attained goals of the founding fathers, is not to remain a mirage.

Professor Ogunbodede who recalled being on the team from the University that engaged UNESCO on the project in 2011, stated that by now, six (6) years after AISPI would have witnessed a tremendous geometric development if the immediate-past administration had followed-up and fulfilled the conditionalities for the upgrade which were very well on course before the expiration of Professor Faborode’s tenure of office.

Challenging the participants to make the most of the opportunities the open symposium would throw-up for the ultimate benefit of the African continent, the new Vice-Chancellor tasked AISPI to redouble its efforts as he has reached out to UNESCO to re-open talks on the abandoned upgrade project.  He thanked AfricaLics, SIDA, NACETEM and all other collaborators and sponsors for the good works done in putting the doctoral academy programme for 2017 together against all odds, adding that posterity would reckon with them as the vehicle of science, technology and innovation policy attainment in Africa.

Also in their separate speeches at the Open Symposium, the Executive Director, Science, Technology and Innovation Research Organization (STIPRO), Dares Salam, Tanzania and Chair, Board of AfricaLics, Dr. Bitrina Diyamett; the Director AISPI and Secretary-General of the 2017 AfricaLics Academy, Professor Timothy Oyebisi; the Academic Director of the 5th AfricaLics Ph.D Academy, Professor Matthew Ilori, the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of NACETEM, Professor Okechukwu Ukwuoma, represented by the Deputy Director (Research), Dr. Ayobami Opewale; and the Dean, Faculty of Technology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Benjamin Imasogie, charged the African continent to adopt pragmatic and concerted efforts at Science and Technology development rather than paying lip service to it and denying genuine efforts and yearnings of STI policy advocates the much-needed political and financial support.  They submitted further that the 5th AfricaLics doctoral academy could not have come at a more auspicious time than now that African states eagerly yearn to thread a new path to sustainable economic development having been dealt a decisive blow by the global slump in the prices of natural resources, giving rise to severe economic recession.

According to the organizers, a double blinded review process involving twenty-four (24) scholars from all over the world was adopted to scrutinize a total of fifty-two (52) applications received from candidates from twelve (12) African countries who are in their second (2nd) year of doctoral studies in Africa, America, Asia and Europe, out of which thirty-one (31) applicants were eventually selected to participate in the 2017 academy hosted by Obafemi Awolowo University.  Six (6) of them were from low income countries and six (6) are females.

For two weeks, the selected applicants were not only exposed to the theories, research methods and empirical research in Science, Technology and Innovation, they also attended lectures delivered by scholars, development practitioners and policy makers from France, South Africa, China, Tanzania, Germany and Nigeria among others.