The Vice-Chancellor, Professor E.O. Ogunbodede in continuation of his drive to reposition the University recently visited the World Bank in respect of the World bank sponsored Africa Centre of Excellence Obafemi Awolowo University ICT-Drive Knowledge Park (OAK-Park).
The VC, leading the duo of Prof. A.S. Bamire, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic who is also the project Centre Leader and Prof. G.A. Aderounmu, the project Co-Centre Leader. The team met with Andreas Blom, Task Team Leader (TTL), Africa Centers of Excellence Project and a Lead Economist in the World Bank’s education units in Africa. The VC restated the commitment of his administration towards the ACE project. He enunciated several internal re-engineering that have been done to speed up on the delivery of the project objectives. The VC also noted that the University has benefitted tremendously through the ACE project especially in the internalisation of some of the University programs. The VC was quick to mention that through the Project, the University has been able to establish itself as a leading university in ICT in the sub-region and had conducted trainings in Senegal, Benin Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Gambia. According to him, the University’s number of foreign students especially on post graduate programs is on the increase. The VC also sought the buy-in of the world Bank on the proposed OAU incubation Centre within the OAK park. The VC concluded by appreciating he World bank team for their support towards improved education in Africa.
In his response, the TTL, Mr. Andreas Blom commended the University management and the OAU ACE team for the progress made thus far on the ACE project. He noted that from report with him, OAU has surpassed the benchmark in some of the expected outputs of the project especially in the area of regional student enrolment, short courses and the newly constructed ICT post graduate lab. He however enjoined the University to strengthen her relationship with relevant industries particularly those within the Lagos/South Western industrial corridor. This, he opined, will birth mutually beneficial engagement between town and gown, provide internship opportunity for students and assist in ease of research uptake. He went further to encourage OAU to work harder as possibility exists for a renewed funding of the project though such will be on competitive bid. He concluded by commending the University management for their commitment to the project which has greatly helped in accomplishing the project deliverables.
In his consulting response, the VC informed the World Bank team on the effort being made by the University to actively engage the industry. He therefore went further to inform the team on the planned one day academia-industry engagement programme that has been scheduled to hold in Lagos on 14th of March, 2017. The aim of the programme, according to the VC, is aimed at redefining university-industry relationship and seeks to bridge the existing disconnect between the critical actors in Nigeria knowledge economy.
The meeting ended with both team reaffirming to work together for the total actualisation of the aims and objectives of the ACE project.