Two scholars at the University of Lagos have secured €1,200,000 (N540 million) for research from the United Kingdom Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund.
The dons are Dr Sunday Adebisi, the Director, African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), Centre of Excellence in Unemployment and Skills Development, and Prof. Timothy Nubi, the Director, Centre for Urbanisation and Habitable Cities in the university.
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, starting from Sept. 1, 2019 to Aug. 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, Ph.D 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 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.
He said the grant would 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 also hoped 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 pieces of training that will be attended by not less than two hundred participants every year for the duration of the project,” he Adebisi 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.