Two scholars from the University of Lagos (UNILAG) have attracted a total of €1,200,000 (N540 million) for research.
The grants were from the United Kingdom Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund.
The scholars are Dr Sunday Adebisi, Director, African Research Universities Alliance ARUA Centre of Excellence in Unemployment and Skills Development, and Prof. Timothy Nubi, Director, Centre for Urbanisation and Habitable Cities.
Adebisi secured the grant for Partnership, Research and Capacity Building for Youth Unemployment Solutions in Africa while Nubi got the grant for African Research Network for Urbanisation and Habitable Cities.
The duration of the research projects is 36 months – from September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2022.
The grants are for the development of integrated solutions that will maximise employment opportunities and enhance the future of work in Africa.
They are also to provide a strategic platform for developing research capacities in African institutions to address Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), using a hub and spoke models that will increase collaboration among African teams from diverse disciplines.
They are also to be used to fund themed capacity building workshops, PhD Colloquia in conferences and researcher exchange programmes that will promote mentoring as well as carry out scooping studies in research areas, specific to Africa’s urbanisation challenges.
Adebisi said on Saturday in Lagos that a major aim of the grant was to tackle the challenges of youth unemployment, using a stakeholder network approach involving academic research institutes and non academic institutions with shared vision, interest, goals and objectives.
According to him, this will build significant research capacity across African universities as well as promote youth employment and skills development in African countries starting with universities in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa.
He added that it would enhance the realisation of the SDGs.
“It will also provide sponsorship for academic training for seven doctoral students, six post doctoral fellows as well as 15 faculty members distributed across African universities for capacity building in carrying out research on skills development for reducing youth unemployment in Africa.
“This grant will also be used to create a one-high performing hub that has the capacity to raise external funds, firm partnerships, explore entrepreneurial activities as well as attract excellent mentors worldwide and anchor research network across African universities toward youth skills development, in a bid to achieve the SDGs.
“We will also strive to hold international conferences, workshops and trainings that will be attended by not less than two hundred participants every year for the duration of the project”, he said.
Adebisi said that the activities, under the ARUA Centre of Excellence, would be in collaboration with universities such as Coventry, Lancaster, University of Derby, University of Cape Town and universities of Ghana and Nairobi.