The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) – ICT Driven Knowledge Park has called on the private sector to partner with the University and benefit from its knowledge and skills in technology and innovations. OAU in collaboration with the Nigeria Computer Society organized a one- day university-industry linkage forum themed ‘Rethinking Academia-Industry Engagement’ at the Sheraton Hotel Lagos.

OAU is one of the Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence funded by the World Bank to strengthen the capacities of Universities to deliver high quality training to meet the demand for skills required for Africa’s development.

Speaking at the forum, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, the Pro- Chancellor and Chairman of the University Council, called on industry stakeholders to partner with the institution and benefit from its ICT potentials. He stated, “We need to build a stronger interface between academia and the industry. Industry participation and synergy on this project will be of immense benefit to the student community, the academia and the industry.”

He also noted that OAU was ready to create the platform for the University and industry to jointly identify challenges facing the country and design the needed solutions, and also provide jobs and wealth creation in the process.  Dr. Ogunbiyi also stated that the park is being positioned as a recognized model ICT Park and hub in the sub- region which links academia and industry to proffer solutions to local problems.

He added, “The intent here is that such solutions will be innovative and commercialized. It is our desire therefore that companies can take up structures or spaces in the park, creating proximity to the university’s intellectual infrastructure of our faculty and the reservoir of knowledge resident within our active student population.”

The co-leader of the Centre who also doubles as the President of the Nigeria Computer Society, Professor G.A Aderoumu speaking at the event stated that, the World Bank earmarked eight million USD for the setting up of the park, which is near completion and would be fully commissioned in May.

Also present at this event was the OAU Vice Chancellor. Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, who added that, the university is ready to work with all stakeholders in bridging the gap between academia and industry and to also sustain its relevance as a leading university in research and innovation.