Mr. Antonin Devillers and Ms. Marie-Laetita Ceccaldi, representatives of the French Embassy in Nigeria, were at the University of Lagos on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, to explore opportunities for collaboration on climate change.
Their visit was in furtherance of the Research and Innovation in Adapting to Climate Change in Nigeria Project (AIRACC), which aims to strengthen research and innovative capacity in Nigeria in the area of climate change by forming partnerships between French and Nigerian institutions of higher education.
The project also aims to promote Nigerian intra-university cooperation and the formation of local groupings in the area of climate change research.
On hand to receive them were the Vice Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, FAS and the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Development Services), Professor Folasade Ogunsola, FAS who, respectively, shared with the visitors the commitment of the Ogundipe-led administration to promoting solution-oriented research among academics; and entrepreneurship and innovation among students. The Vice Chancellor expressed delight at their choice of UNILAG as one of the participants in the projects and pledged its readiness to justify the confidence.
Seven Nigerian universities are involved in the AIRACC project, namely: University of Lagos, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, University of Ibadan, Bayero University, Kano University of Science and Technology, University of Jos and Ebonyi State University.
In June 2019, researchers from these institutions submitted 7 multidisciplinary group research proposals on the topic of climate change. Three of those proposals (one of which must benefit women in Nigeria) were selected in November 2019, to be funded by the Embassy of France in Nigeria in 2020.
Two of those winning proposals are from the University of Lagos.
Also present at the occasion were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics & Research), Prof. Oluwole Familoni, FAS; Ag. Director of the CITS, Dr. Victor Olumuyiwa; Ag. Director of the Office of International Relations, Partnerships and Prospects (IRPP), Dr Ismael Ibrahim; Director of the Central Research Laboratory, Prof Wellington Oyibo; Director of the Office of Research & Innovation, Prof Bola Oboh