Nigeria’s Niger Delta University Shines at the 4th Africa Summit 2020
– As Vice-Chancellor, Prof. SG Edoumiekumo wins African Educational Icon award
By Amos Odeh
The Niger Delta University, located in Bayelsa State, in Nigeria’s South-South region, was honoured at the 4th Africa Summit 2020, which held virtually on Thursday 25 June 2020. The institution was praised for its proven record of preparing students for life beyond paid employment, which has become critical as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic that is leading to job losses.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Samuel Edoumiekumo, was also honoured with the African Educational Icon award, for leading the institution on strategic reforms that have positioned students for enterprise development, thereby attracting global acclaim.
While receiving the award, which was presented by the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, Her Excellency Jewel Howard-Taylor, the Vice-Chancellor, maintained that the University’s commitment toward blending entrepreneurship and education was born out of the need to help in creating sustainable economic growth through SMEs.
Congratulating the Vice-Chancellor, the Liberia Vice President Her Excellency Jewel Howard encouraged the honorees to continue to make Africa proud, stating that she was a previous ALM honoree herself. ‘I am proud to recognise your contributions to society and please accept my congratulations’, she said, to the cheering and clapping of the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Her Excellency, Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland, Swaziland Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini, and other notable business and political leaders from across the world.
Speaking earlier from the United Kingdom headquarters of the magazine, the Publisher and Chief Executive of African Leadership magazine UK, Dr Ken Giami had said, ‘Over the years, African Leadership magazine have invested in the conviction that Africans can lead themselves into peace, development and prosperity, and contribute their quota to global progress and prosperity for all. That is why we have made it our mission to not only discover and celebrate outstanding African leaders and institutions – who we count on to lead the change we seek, but we actively enable them to continue to inspire and lead effectively, so our world becomes a better place for all’.
The current challenges facing the education system in Nigeria has continued to clog the wheel of progress. From inadequate funding; to poor educational infrastructures, Nigeria’s educational systems have been plagued with myriads of problems. In addition to these inadequacies, Nigeria’s school system has failed to equip students with the requisite capacity for entrepreneurship needed for life beyond paid employment.
However, the Niger Delta University under the leadership of Professor Samuel Edoumiekumo is changing the face of academic pursuit, by blending education and entrepreneurship.
Thanking the organisers, African Leadership magazine, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Edoumiekumo stated that “we are committed to empowering our students to create businesses and generate employment. Some of our undergraduates have already started their businesses while in school, and we encourage and support them.”
The event with the theme: COVID-19: Pathways to Africa’s Economic Recovery and Future Growth, had as speakers Her Excellency Baroness Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General; His Excellency Rt. Hon. Ambrose Dlamini, Prime Minister of Eswatini, Her Excellency Jewel Howard-Taylor, Vice President of Liberia, Lord Dollar Popat, Member UK House of Lords and UK Prime Minister’s Envoy to Rwanda and Uganda.
The Africa Summit traditionally holds in London UK, but, held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 disruption. The event is part of African Leadership magazine’s response to the debate on resetting Africa’s development priorities post-COVID-19.
Other discussants at the event include Sen. Manqoba Khumalo, Minister of Commerce & Trade, Kingdom of Eswatini; Hon. Hamat Bah, Minister of Culture & Tourism, The Gambia; Dr Christian Lindfeld, Managing Partner, Africa Advisors GmbH; Dr Victor Oladdokun, Former Director of Communications, African Development Bank; Senyo Hosi, Chairman Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, Saul Frazer, CEO Global Properties, Gambia; and Dr Esther Muchemi, CEO of Samchi Group, Kenya, among others.