Authorities of the University of Lagos led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Folasade T. Ogunsola, FAS on Thursday, February 2, 2023, held a partnership discussion meeting with a 4-man team from Sahara Energy Group.
The meeting comes in the wake of a budding mutual relationship aimed at harnessing the strong entrepreneurial culture amongst UNILAG students through the “Sahara School of Innovation and Extrapraneurship” project. This project was unveiled with a sod-turning ceremony in the University, in October, 2022.
The Director, Governance and Sustainability, Sahara Group, Ejiro Gray who was the team lead stated that they were in the university to further discussions on the project.
She explained that the project would inspire future generations of innovators by providing business incubation, as well as growth and accelerator support required to fully explore their latent creativity and innovative potential.
According to her, “it is another way to reinforce the organisation’s commitment to give back always. This project also serves as Sahara Group’s contributions towards building a formidable legacy for sustainable development”.
“We are confident that working with the University of Lagos, a foremost institution of global repute, the school would deliver sustainable value for the benefit of Africa and the world at large,” Gray whose directorate would drive the project stated.
Another member of the Sahara Energy team, Mr. Obioma Bethel, also lend his voice to the project. He explained that the project places emphasis on areas such as the future of energy, entrepreneurship, data science, digital arts and culture, artificial intelligence and robotics, fintech, among others.
Mr. Obioma said a timeline of 24 months had been set for the completion of the project, with clear sustainability indices in terms of seamless maintenance, inclusiveness, transparency, relevance and scalability of modules/inventions, access to strategic/financial advisory and collaboration for regional and global impact.
During the meeting, the Sahara Scholar Award which aimed at “energising excellence” through rewards to university students with outstanding performance in selected disciplines was also discussed. Mr, Obioma revealed that the Sahara Scholar Award will commence from the University of Lagos as a pilot scheme and progressively expand in scope across Africa.
In her response, the Vice Chancellor expressed satisfaction with the project proposed by Sahara Energy Group and commended them for their good works.
She spoke on the (25) twenty-five-year Strategic Master Plan of the University which supports the drive towards encouraging Entrepreneurial skill acquisition programme among students. She stated that in accordance with the vision of the Entrepreneurial Centre established in 2013, the University is always ready to accept project of this kind which invariably help to develop new business idea for the students.
In the same vein, the Director of Entrepreneurial Studies & Development Centre, Professor Sunday Adebisi who was also present at the meeting highlighted other areas in the Institution that could support the project. He reassured the team of the university’s commitment to the project.
The visit ended with the exchange of tokens of goodwill between the Sahara Energy team and the Vice-Chancellor.