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Text of the Public Lecture on 'The Relevance of University Education in Innovation for the Advancement of Town and Gown Symbiosis' by Prof. Ibrahim A. GAMBARI, CFR, OCORT


It is with great honor that I stand before you today to deliver this public lecture on a topic that is very dear to me and more importantly critical in the growth of universities, but also host communities where these institutions are domiciled. Firstly, as some of you may know, I began my professional work life career as an academic at the City University of New York and spent a significant part of my working life as a diplomat and a public servant. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, I have had the singular honor of straddling the two divides and can readily relate how university education impacts innovation and can shape and advance Town and Gown relationships.

I must extend my very warm courtesies to the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Lokoja, Professor Olayemi Akinwunmi and his management team for presenting me with this opportunity. Indeed I have received and continue to deliver public lectures, but this topic is special and especially dear to my heart, particularly at this period in our nation’s history. 

The topic titled “The Relevance of University Education in Innovation for the Advancement of Town and Gown Symbiosis”. Although a mouthful, does pack in one sentence many matters that are not only topical, but very germane in today’s world. A world that has technology as a principal driver or as Techies call it “disruptor” in all facets of human interaction. A world where the definition of a university education have evolved from Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lysuem, while still retaining key fundamental tenets i.e. learning organized around scholars and learned persons as the deliverers to today’s virtual learning environment whereby students sitting in Lokoja can take classes being delivered by a lecturer in Beijing, New York or Sao Paulo. Not withstanding that the objective remains the same, i.e acquisition of knowledge in furtherance of the human endeavor either individually, or collectively as nation states.

Before I begin to dissect this topic, our gathering here should be cognizant of the very important place in history of this memorable city Lokoja and by extension this institution. This institution was established in... Read the full text here  | Watch the video of the lecture here | For more pictures, click here

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