Sunday, June 16, 2024


The Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU) in Anambra State has promised to join forces with the State Government in its quest to digitise the socio-economic activities in the state, including its education and administrative systems.

The institution expressed its desire to ensure that it produces the next generation of young scientists and innovators that would, expectedly, emerge from the state, thus making the state the “Silicon Valley of Africa”, a statement by the institution said.

The statement noted that the Vice-Chancellor of the school, Professor Greg Nwakoby, made the commitment at the fifth International Conference and Exhibition for Science, Technology, Innovations and Entrepreneurship organised by the Faculty of Physical Sciences of the university held in the school campus.

The theme for the conference and exhibitions which was “Breaking Barriers to Innovation, Local Manufacturing and Technology Development in Nigeria”, had speakers from the government, academia and industry players.

Nwakoby, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor Mathias Ananti said that such commitment was responsible for the huge investments being made by the institution in its information and Communication Technology infrastructures, physical and digital.

He said, “COOU places a high premium on research and innovations, and that informed the decision to embark on the huge investments in areas of staff motivation, human capacity and infrastructural development. These have obviously, catapulted the profile of COOU in regional and global university rankings”.

Chairman of the conference local organising committee, Prof. Osita Chiaghanam, who is also the COOU’S Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), expressed joy at the large turnout of participants despite the harsh economic climate in the country. He explained that the Young Scientists and Future Innovators (YSFI) exhibition was designed as an integral component of the conference in order to identify early-stage techies that could be supported by the university and partners until such perceived infant ideas mature into commercial products in the technology market.

The state commissioner for Industry, Christian Udechukwu, who was the Chairman of the conference plenary, lauded the YSFI programme of COOU, recognising that such programmes hold the key to rapid industrialisation and ICT development of the state and beyond.

He promised to ensure that participants are co-opted into the forthcoming Africa Industrialization Day.

The Special Adviser to the State Governor on Innovation and Business Incubation, Miss Chinwe Okloli, in her keynote address, defined innovation as doing things in better and more efficient ways that would herald improved services to the people.

Okoli also in the statement explained that innovation also connotes advancement in every sector of life, perhaps, using technology, thus linking the theme of the conference to the ongoing investments by the state government in ICT development, mass digital literacy, youth capacity building in the digital ecosystem, start-up support and business incubation

These, according to her, constitute the core mandates of the Solution Innovation District which is being described as the Silicon Valley of the State.



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