“The common facts of today are the products of yesterday’s research.” ~ Duncan MacDonald. This ideology was reverberated at the Lagos-ACC Graduate Conference in African Studies with the theme, “Studying Contemporary Africa: Politics, Society and Decoloniality”. Dr. Akin Iwilade of the School of Social and Political Science, The University of Edinburgh virtually delivered the keynote address on the theme.
Professor ‘Muyiwa Falaiye, Director, Institute of African and Diaspora Studies (IADS), introduced the Lagos-African Cluster Centre (Lagos-ACC) of IADS, University of Lagos (UNILAG) to the doctoral students participating in the Conference. He informed that the aim of the 3-day Conference was to nurture the next generation of researchers. He encouraged participants to be diligent in their work and give research crucial attention, and to apply for future editions of the Rahamon Bello Best Ph.D. Thesis Award.
Professor Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe, FAS, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, was ably represented by Prof. Oluwole B. Familoni, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics & Research). He charged all participants to listen attentively to gain fresh insights on the processes of conducting research. He posited that conducting good researches will help the doctoral students distinguish themselves in their fields and attract viable research grants.
Professor Bola Oboh, Director, Research and Innovation Office, UNILAG, introduced the participants to research in UNILAG. She averred that there are several pertinent areas in the African sphere that needs to be researched. She informed that there are many grant opportunities available for diligent and hardworking researchers, she therefore charged participants to take extra care in understanding the peculiar requirements of various grants. She remarked that IADS has made UNILAG proud from inception and even produced the first Research Professor in the university, in the person of Prof. Ayo Yusuff. She encouraged the Institute to look into ways of ensuring its sustainability for it to remain relevant for generations to come.
Prof. Taibat Lawanson, Principal Investigator at Lagos-ACC, enlightened the participants on “Opportunities for Grant and Post-doc Research in African Studies.” She informed that there are more opportunities available for young researchers, women and low-income countries. She charged the doctoral students to always ensure their research work represents the true identity of Africa as well as its pristine ideals and not to demean Africa. She shared several ethical and personal steps they can take to be remarkable researchers and encouraged them to find good accountability partners or mentors.
All participants presented papers on their ongoing research work, followed by questions and constructive observations. They were all encouraged to make use of more African theories instead of using higher percentage of foreign theories in explaining African issues and phenomenon.