Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, Osun State, has won a N1.2billion World Bank grant for the building of a knowledge park targeted at boosting academic activities in Africa and beyond.
According to the university’s public relations officer, Mr Abiodun Olarewaju, the grant which will be provided in tranches by the global financial institution would be completed within three years. He added that the project will be known as an African Centre for Excellence with focus on OAU Knowledge Park (OAK-Park).
The vice-chancellor of the institution, Prof. Bamitale Omole, who expressed his appreciation to God, staff and students of the university, also credited the success to the commitment of all the stakeholders of the ivory tower including members of the alumni of the institution.
He said the grant was won ahead of other 33 African universities which had also submitted proposals for same, adding that OAU’s proposal was classified as the best from 51 received by the World Bank, out of which 18 were approved for similar projects.
Omole said the OAK-Park would create an internationally acknowledged model for commercialisation of research and technology which will advance the growth of the nation’s industry.
“The centre will ensure the systematic incubation of research ideas and products from OAU and other partnering institutions in the West Africa sub-regions. It will also harness the creative and innovative energy of the teeming youths into entrepreneurial endeavour by using appropriate skill- enhancing training and mentoring,” he said
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