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NIDCOM, UI sign MoU to establish first African Diaspora Centre

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NIDCOM, UI sign MoU to establish first African Diaspora Centre

Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and the University of Ibadan (UI) on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of an African Diaspora Resource Centre.

The Chairperson of NIDCOM, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who signed the MoU on behalf of the commission, said the TETFund funded centre would be the first of its kind in the world.

Dabiri-Erewa expressed delight that Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) approved the project for UI, adding that she was not surprised, given that UI is the premier university in Nigeria.

She commended the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kayode Adebowale  and other Management staff for the job of lifting the banner of the university high.

The NIDCOM boss also lauded the staff and students of the Institute of African Studies for their active participation in the activities of NIDCOM.

“Everybody is now talking about diaspora. This is a knowledge centre that will be an international centre of excellence that will bring diaspora here.

“A lot of people are tracing their roots back to Africa.

“A lot of people are doing their DNA who are Nigerians and so this is an international project that will bring glory and fame to Nigeria through the University of Ibadan,” Dabiri-Erewa said.

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In his remark, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kayode Adebowale, said research and training were highly rated at the University of Ibadan, adding that the establishment of the Centre of Excellence was a welcome development.

Adebowale promised to do all within his power to ensure the timely and successful completion of the project.

“This is going to be a site for diaspora studies, an international programme, not only for teaching but also research.

“There are a lot of people that are leaving the country, they are also an asset to us but we can also involve them even in the development of this country.

“And apart from that there are people who do not know there would be a centre of excellence for those types of research studies. I know it is going to be of benefit to the country,” Adebowale said.

VMT NEWS reports that the Centre of Excellence is to serve as Africa Diaspora Resource Research Centre, and it will be managed by the Diaspora and Transnational Studies Unit of the Institute of African Studies.

The Centre shall serve as an interface between the academia and related national governance institutions for policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation.

It shall facilitate international cooperation by the Diaspora and Transnational Studies programme and NIDCOM with regional and other international institutions such as ECOWAS, AU, UN, IOM, etc.

The centre shall organise joint research activities, lectures, conferences, symposia, and any other activity of mutual interest.

Research funding shall be provided by TETFUND to cover a 10 year- research programme on ‘Decriminalising the Global Nigerian Diaspora’.

The Memorandum of Understanding shall be for five years in the first instance and shall be renewable at the end of every five years.

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