Establishment of a UNESCO Chair in Earth Sciences and Georesources Engineering Management at the University of Ibadan (Nigeria)

During a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters on 18 May 2006, held in the presence of Ms Chinwe Nora Obaji, Minister of Education of Nigeria, and Professor Olufemi Bamiro, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, a new UNESCO Chair in Earth Sciences and Georesources Engineering Management was established at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

The central aim of the Chair – the fifth to be established in Nigeria – is to facilitate interdisciplinary research and teaching. It proposes not only to bring the ecological sciences, earth sciences and engineering closer together, but also to link them with the social and economic sciences.

Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, hailed this initiative as bringing an “innovative approach to research and teaching in the area of sustainable development”. He also highlighted the unique structure of the Chair, which will have links to universities in South Africa and the United States. For the Director-General, “the idea of interdisciplinary research and training in ecology-geology and socio-economic development is in line with the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)”, and creates the opportunity for enlarging the existing network of Universities working in these fields.

Ms Chinwe Nora Obaji expressed her appreciation at the establishment of the new Chair, which, through a multidisciplinary approach, will enhance international academic cooperation, facilitate exchanges and internships, and ensure the development of new knowledge transfer and capacity-building techniques in Africa. The Minister of Education also drew attention to the positive impact of the four other UNESCO Chairs in Nigeria, which are contributing to the economic and social development of the country.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan likewise recognized the importance of the Chair, underlining the impact it would have in promoting cooperation between his University and the academic communities of South Africa and America, as well as in strengthening the growing network of UNESCO Chairs across Africa. He thanked UNESCO for its “invaluable support”.

  • Author(s):Flash info n°080-2006
  • Source:Flash info n°080-2006
  • 22-05-2006
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