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Awolowo-Dosunmu, Ogen, Awe, Okei-Odumakin, Kelani get TOFAC awards

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Olatokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu. PHOTO: The Nation


Ex-Provost tasks Africa on knowledge economy
Prominent Nigerians, among whom are Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, professors Olukoya Ogen, James Makinde, Bolanle Awe, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin and Tunde Kelani, have been honoured with the Toyin Falola International Conference on Africa and the African Diaspora (TOFAC).

While Awolowo-Dosunmu bagged the Kwame Nkrumah award for service to Pan-Africanism, human rights activist, Okei-Odumakin, clinched the Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti prize for distinguished public activism.

Pioneer Vice Chancellor of Babcok University, Prof Makinde received the Thabo Mbeki award for excellence in leadership, while icon of Nigerian cinematography, Kelani was awarded the Leopold Sedar Senghor prize for cultural creativity and impact.

Immediate past Provost of Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo, Prof. Ogen received the 2019 Ali Mazrui Prize for excellence in scholarship, while matriarch of feminist history, Prof Awe, was conferred with the Nelson Mandela distinguished award.

They were recognised at the just concluded ninth TOFAC Awards held at Babcock University, Ilishan in Ogun State.TOFAC is held annually in honour of one of the most distinguished, decorated and published African scholar, Professor Toyin Falola of the University of Texas at Austin, United States of America (U.S.A.).

Speaking at the event, Ogen advocated institutionalisation of a knowledge economy, saying it could bring Nigeria, and by extension Africa, out of the woods and enable the country to compete favourably in the comity of nations.

He said TOFAC has been a platform for intellectual engagement, stressing that there was the need for African countries to explore opportunities of knowledge economy to jump-start its development.

“This conference is a contemporary discourse on religion, the state, and global politics, in order to illuminate the path that African countries should take in their quests for unity, peace and sustainable development,” he said.

The conference with the theme: Religion, the State and Global Politics, examined all the major narratives and theories of religion and politics produced by scholars and policy-makers over the years.

The banquet was chaired by Nyatema of Atoabechied, South Western Cameroon, Prof. Fuankem Achankeng, who also doubles as a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Oshcosh, U.S.A.The stakeholders, who presented several papers, analysed recent developments in Africa to foster or hamper religious harmonies and understandings in Africa.

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