The Vice-Chancellor of Federal University Lokoja, Prof. Angela Freeman Miri has been elected Financial Secretary of the Association of West Africa Universities (AWAU) following the expiration of the tenure of Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali’s led Executive Committee. The elections which led to Prof. Miri’s emergence as the Financial Secretary took place during AWAU’s 7th Conference and 9th Annual General Meeting held at the Université d’Abomey-Calavi (UAC), Benin Republic from 8th to 12th October, 2019 with the theme: “The Role of West Africa Universities in Regional Industrialization and Economic Transformation”. Similarly, The Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Minna Prof. Bala Abdullahi emerged as the Chairman of the Association while the Vice-Chancellor of Kogi State University, Anyigba, Prof. Mohammed Sani Abdulkadir was elected Secretary-General.
Earlier at the auspicious event, Prof. Miri was appointed Chairman of the Communiqué Drafting Committee. She equally made a presentation on Federal University Lokoja and the impact the University is making on the immediate community. Other selected Universities that made elaborate presentations on the impact they have made/still making on their various communities were: Federal University of Technology, Minna, Bayero University Kano, University of Ilorin, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, University of Maiduguri, University of Port Harcourt, University of Abuja, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina and Caleb University, Imota Lagos.
The conference attracted participants mainly from countries in the West African Sub-region including the Republic of Benin, Niger Republic and Nigeria. The welcome address was delivered by the Rector, Université d’Abomey-Calavi (UAC), Benin Republic, Prof. da CRUZ Maxime while the outgone Chairman of AWAU, Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali gave the opening remarks. Also, the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, Professor Rigobert C. TOSSOU gave a brief on the 7th Conference. Goodwill messages were delivered at the opening ceremony by The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Secretary-General, Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) and The Registrar/CEO, Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB).
Keynote addresses were given by Dr. Albert Honlonkou - Université d’Abomey-Calavi (UAC), Benin Republic, and Dr. Bashir Kurfi – Zaria Business School, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. The Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Republic of Benin, Prof. Yayi Ladekan Eleonore who was the Special Guest of Honour was represented by Prof. Bienvenu KOUDJO who declared the Conference and Annual General Meeting open while the Secretary-General, AWAU, Prof. Abdullahi Yusufu Ribadi gave the vote of thanks and announcements.
Papers presented addressed issues of University-Industry Relationship, University Research Translation, Curriculum Innovation and Capacity Development for Industrial Growth, Effects of Insecurity on Industrialization, Effects of Language and Immigration on Industrial Growth and Governance and Policy Issues Limiting/Promoting Industrialization.
At the end of the Conference and Annual General Meeting, AWAU made the following resolutions and recommendations, amongst others:
- West African Universities are encouraged to play active roles in the realization of Regional Industrialization and Economic Transformation;
- There is a need for increased collaboration among the Regional Bodies in the Sub-Region to improve internationalization of Universities;
- Universities should seek other sources of funding through collaboration with Industry;
- Industrial Research, Exchange of Staff and Students among the West African Universities should be improved upon to promote integration within the Region;
- The teaching and learning of French and English Languages within the Sub-Region should be made compulsory in the educational system of Member Countries;
- Member Countries need to further encourage the adoption of Common Currency for the Sub-region;
- West African Universities should redesign their curricula to suit industry interest and focus on real issues of National and Regional Development;
- Academics must strive to patent and commercialize their Research Findings;
- AWAU should co-ordinate a meeting of University Policy-Makers of the ECOWAS with a view to formulating programmes and creating awareness for Regional Co-operation;
- Universities should monitor the percentage of their products gainfully employed and obtain employers’ rating, as feedback mechanism and
- Universities in the Sub-region should key into Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
>>Click here to view more pictures from the Photo Gallery