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Varsities seek end to poverty, others in Africa

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Bank MD urges FG to empower polytechnics for technological dev

U6+ Consortium of African Universities is gunning for an Africa devoid of poverty, hunger and sickness to favourably compete globally.The leading African universities stated this yesterday during their 7th International Conference themed ‘Harnessing Africa’s Potential in Science, Technology and Humanity for Sustainable Development’ at the University of Calabar, Cross River State.

Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), Prof. Zana Akpagu, said the initiative, which began seven years ago, came with a vision to build Africa scientifically, academically, technologically and humanistically by Africans.

“The founders reasoned that, gone are the days when Africans looked up to their colonial masters for territorial development. It is heartwarming to observe that in every sphere of life, whether in the Americas, Europe, Asia or the Caribbean, for any major breakthrough, the brains behind any major breakthrough are the Africans,” he said.

Speaking on the theme of the conference, the deputy governor of Cross River, Prof. Ivara Esu, who chaired the occasion, charged African universities to seek ways of harnessing the continent’s potential by partnering in the present to define the future of its technological growth.He said universities and colleges of technology must put in more effort to review their curriculum and programmes to tally with current African realities.

On her part, the representative of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa, Prof. Dina Burger, said U6+ strongly believed in partnership and by that, “we build bridges.”

Meanwhile, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, has urged the Federal Government to strengthen the capacity of polytechnics to train competent graduates for technological development in the country.He made the call at the maiden Founder’s Day Reunion Summit/Award tagged ‘The Home Coming’ organised by the Auchi Polytechnic Alumni Association (APAA) in Auchi, Edo State.

At the event, Prince Ned Nwoko was honoured with the Alumni Personality of the Year while the Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Prof. Faraday Orunmwense, got Lifetime Achiever award. Onyeagwu, an alumnus of the institution, who was the guest speaker, saw strengthening the capacity of polytechnics for technology advancement as the only way to solve the unemployment problem in the country.

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