The University of Lagos (UNILAG) says it has concluded arrangements for its research agenda setting workshop and launch of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centres of Excellence, would improve its PhD training and research activities. Prof Gbenga Nubi, a member of the organising committee for the workshop, said on Monday in Lagos that the ARUA centres would provide a platform for the speedy provision of solutions to everyday challenges.

The launching and workshop, planned for Sept. 6 to Sept. 7 is a collaboration between the university and ARUA. The centres of excellence to be launched are ARUA Centre of Excellence for Urbanisation and Habitable Cities in Africa and ARUA Centre of Excellence for Unemployment and Skills Development in Africa.

“The two-day event has Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Secretary-General of ARUA and Prof. Wellington Oyibo, Director, Research and Innovation, University of Lagos as speakers.

Nubi, also the Founding Director, Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development of the institution, added that the essence of the launch was to set an agenda on what the centre would be doing in the next five years. The one time Dean, Faculty of Environmental Sciences noted that such issues confronting the society as transportation, slum and healthcare system among others would be brought to the fore.

He added that already, ARUA was ready to support these centres with millions of dollars each year for five years for improved PhD training and research. According to him, such support will spur African researchers to look at areas that should be researched into, such as urbanisation, health and others.

“That is why universities in Africa agreed after wide consultations that the way forward should be the establishment of centres of excellence in some selected universities and UNILAG happens to be one of such universities with two centres,” he said.