The United Kingdom Research Institute, UKRI, has awarded a research grant worth 1.9 million pounds to the University of Lagos alongside two other universities in Africa and one in United Kingdom.
iBrandTV gathered that the grant is for a three-year research project (2021-2023) and funded by the UKRI, under the UKRI-GCRF ARUA Research Excellence Programme.
The three other universities include Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, Makerere University Uganda and University of Sheffield, UK, which is the collaborating institutions.
The universities are expected to support in building research capacities at some other young participating African universities such as Hawassa in Ethiopia, Gulu in Uganda, as well as the University of Jos.
Speaking during a virtual/physical National Inception Workshop of the Migration, Urbanisation and Conflict in Africa (MUCA) Research Project in Lagos, Vice Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, stated that the ARUA Centre of Excellence for Urbanisation and Habitable Cities had a mandate to scale up applied urban research and practice in Africa.
Ogundipe who was represented by the institution’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Academics, Prof. Oluwole Familoni, also noted that it was to work toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
According to him, the research grant is one of six awarded under the UKRI-GCRF African Universities Research Alliance Research Excellence programme.
He said that it was also one of the several research projects targeted at UNILAG, in fostering stronger research and development partnerships for the actualisation of the SDGs.
The don noted that the research project would focus on unraveling the complexities surrounding migration and urbanisation in Africa, the attendant conflicts and finally chart the pathway to peaceful urban futures.
”This workshop, in kicking off the research, seeks to co-create the sustainable pathway to peace in our cities with stakeholders such as ourselves, private practitioners, policy makers, international development agencies and others.
”The future of African cities cannot be determined outside science policy engagement.
“Effective development strategies cannot be developed without the contributions of knowledge institutions.
”Providing the evidence base for targeted policies and actions in peace keeping, peace making and peace building in Nigerian cities is a game changer.
”The University of Lagos and all other partner universities in this MUCA project bring that expertise as subject specialists and bridge builders for a more sustainable future.
”Let me reiterate here that this project fits neatly within the internationalisation mandate of this university.
”Our faculty members are once again showing our strength and expertise in research and our capacity to collaborate effectively with other universities internationally, to jointly undertake ground-breaking multidisciplinary research aimed at improving our societies,” he stated.
The keynote speaker, Prof. Isaac Albert, pioneer Dean, Faculty of Multidisciplinary Studies, University of Ibadan, said there was an urgent need for universities across the continent to collaborate and step up efforts, in finding lasting solutions to all societal challenges.
According to him, city managers are already overwhelmed by these challenges that come with migration and conflicts especially.
”City managers are trained to manage problems but researchers have a better understanding on how to tackle most of these problems.
”When city managers, scholars, policy makers and industry collaborate, they end up establishing structures that would produce more sustainable management of the urban challenges,” he stated.
The professor of African History, Peace and Conflict Studies added that universities must remain production relevant as well as link up with industries in their quest to research and proffer solutions.
Prof. Timothy Nubi, Director, Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development in UNILAG, expressed joy over the research grant, noting that the development was a challenge to do more.
He noted that the centre would continue to engage in active collaboration, research and practice with the Federal and State Government agencies, NGOs and other critical stakeholders.