Royal Academy of Engineering, Uk awards £100,000 to Nigerians
Nigeria and five other African countries have received £100,000 award from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE), United Kingdom (UK) to boost engineering skills in Africa.
The grant aims to address engineering skills shortage in sub-Saharan Africa and showcase the role of engineering in driving inclusive economic development in the region.
The grant was stemmed from the commitment of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Fedironics, Ugochukwu Ifediora towards human capacity development in Nigeria.
Ifediora, who is also an Alumni of RAE, alongside Deputy Director, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) Business School, Dr. Chinedu Onyeizugbe, has attracted a Higher Education Partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa (HEP SSA) grant, of £100,000 for engineering and entrepreneurship development in Anambra state and Nigeria at large. UNIZIK would be the training hub.
HEP SSA programme, supported by the Anglo-American Group Foundation and the UK Government through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), was established by the Royal Academy of Engineering.
By forming and strengthening relationships between academia and industry, the programme aims to enable the higher education system in sub-Saharan Africa to produce engineers with the skills and knowledge required to meet needs in the industry and to tackle local challenges.
Ifediora was appointed an executive member of the Anambra State Power Committee by the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo (CFR) for his immense contributions in the electricity sector development in Anambra State and Nigeria at large.
The £100,000 grant will be released in tranches for the approved project titled: “Catalysing the Employability and Entrepreneurial Impact of Nigerian Engineers in the Electricity Industry to Strategically Improve Access to Electricity in Nigeria”.
This project will improve the skills, capacity and employability of Nigerian engineering graduates; build on research and innovative capacity of engineering students across higher education institutes in South East, such as Unizik, Awka and Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbuariam Anambra State, and equally stimulate ties with industries across Anambra State especially in Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi, while increasing the scale of impact in the economy of the state.
In 2016, Ifediora received Telecom World Recognition Award from the International Telecommunications Union in Bangkok for co-inventing an innovative smart electricity metering solution.
Also, 2018 he received a Silver Medal Award and African Prize for Engineering Innovation valued at £10,000 from RAE.
Subsequently, he received a Bronze Award at the 2019 Africa Business Summit, London Business School as the Third Most Innovative Entrepreneur in Africa.
The Vice Chancellor, UNIZIK, Awka, Prof. Charles Esimone and Director, UNIZIK Business School Prof. Emma Okoye has praised the awardees for their hard work and diligence in blazing the trail in the academia and private Sector of the state, including being amongst six awardees selected across Africa.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.