By Millicent Ifeanyichukwu
Nigerian-born Prof. Ogechi Adeola, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) of University of Kigali, Rwanda, says she is determined to strengthen partnership with local and global institutions to enhance teaching and research.
Adeola, a professor of marketing, recently appointed into the office by the Governing Body of Kigali University, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos on Wednesday.
According to her, academic excellence should know no borders, and dedication to one’s field ought to be universally acknowledged.
“As a Nigerian in a Foreign University, I am incredibly honoured and excited about my appointment at the University of Kigali, Rwanda.
“For me, this opportunity represents not just a personal achievement, but also a symbol of hope and encouragement for scholars across Africa.
“The University of Kigali is a truly Pan-African institution, prioritising talent and contribution over nationality,” she said.
The University of Kigali DVC said, “I firmly believe that by pooling our diverse expertise and unique knowledge, we can collectively overcome the multitude of challenges facing our continent.
“One of my primary goals is to encourage a culture of Pan-African research collaboration, with University of Kigali taking a leading role.
“By leveraging the collective expertise of African researchers, we can harness our resources and intellectual capital to drive significant improvements in education across the continent.
“Through this endeavour, we can effectively bridge the existing gaps between scholars across the continent and develop solutions ‘for Africa, by Africans’, creating approaches and innovations uniquely tailored to the African context,” Adeola added.
She noted that the agenda is designed to further advance University of Kigali towards realising its mission and vision, ensuring that the collective efforts will contribute meaningfully to both academic excellence and societal development in Rwanda and beyond.
“On Brain Drain, my message to Nigerian leaders is “with the right policy framework and its effective implementation, we can significantly mitigate and even reverse this phenomenon.
“First, it is essential to create a more attractive and supportive environment for Nigerian scholars.
“This includes investing in academic infrastructure, research funding, and ensuring fair remuneration. Although some private universities are making strides in this regard, a more widespread and concerted effort is required,” she said.
Adeola said there was the need to encourage partnerships with international institutions, adding, “such collaborations can provide Nigerian academics with invaluable global exposure, while simultaneously retaining their expertise and contributions within the country.”
According to her, it is a vision that requires the collaboration of identified primary stakeholders, the government, the private sector, academics and researchers, and educational institutions.
“These partnerships are not just about exchange but also about enriching our own academic landscape with diverse perspectives and practices.
“The solution is clear: by building a vibrant academic environment, we can transform the trend of brain drain into brain gain.
“This shift will not only benefit Nigeria but also contribute to the broader development of the African continent, given Nigeria’s significant role.
“Together, we can create a vibrant academic ecosystem in which intellectual talent thrives and is celebrated.
“This journey towards reversing brain drain is not just a pathway to academic excellence, but a step towards economic and social prosperity.
“Therefore, stakeholders in the educational sector must work together towards a future where Nigeria, not only stands as a centre of academic excellence in Africa, but also as a leader in global intellectual capacity,” Adeola said.
She noted that Nigeria must continuously attract, empower, and retain top-tier academic talents as part of efforts to achieve the goal. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Vincent Obi