Universities Should Be Innovative, Entrepreneurial ~ Akaranta

"Universities need to become innovative and entrepreneurial to be relevant in national development, regional integration, produce graduates who are creators of employment and overtime become entrepreneurs”. This was the submission of Professor Onyewuchi Akaranta of the Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, Faculty of Science, while delivering the 24th Valedictory Lecture at Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium on Tuesday, November 29, 2022.

Akaranta, whose lecture was entitled: “Agenda 2063: Making African Universities Entrepreneurial for Sustainable Continental Development”, described the agenda 2063 as “a strategic framework for the socioeconomic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years,” noting that the agenda has seven aspirations.

“The role of a university in national development is embedded in the mission of the University. The mission of a university in the 12th Century was teaching and learning. By the 18th Century, research was added as the second mission, while the 20th century witnessed the inclusion of innovation and entrepreneurship as the third of a university,” he recalled, adding that Government-University-Industry partnership was introduced in the system for the actualisation of the third mission and it became the genesis of the Tripple Helix Model.

Observing that University research could be expensive, Akaranta stated that the onus of applying for grants to fund a research project rests with the researcher. “Since grant applications are highly competitive, early career researchers need capacity building in grantsmanship to sustain cutting edge research. Every degree holder in the employment of a university is a manager of resources. A university Centre for Leadership Training and Grantsmanship will enable an Entrepreneurial university to harness the entrepreneurial potential,” he said.

Akaranta also explained the roles of the curriculum, technology, university administration, research, finances, enterprise mindset and awareness campaign in achieving the entrepreneurial goals in African universities. He stated that “entrepreneurial education should match market needs and tackle the issues of employment”. African universities, according to him, should acquire appropriate technologies that can be used to link the universities to rest of the world.

On his contributions towards the actualisation of the agenda 2063, Akaranta who has spent 40 years listed the establishment of a mini-paint factory, delivering of public lectures, writing of high impact proposals that brought hundreds of thousands of dollars to the University, also noted that he had trained three teaching staff in the art of grantsmanship. This is in addition to supervising or co-supervising over 40 Ph.D. research projects as well as authoring and co-authoring over 160 articles in impact factor journals. In his remarks, Vice Chancellor, Professor Owunari Georgewill, who commended Professor Akaranta for his services to the University, noted that the University has benefited immensely from the Valedictory Lecturer's knowledge contributions. He expressed hope that other scholars in the University would take up the responsibilities of writing proposals that will also attract funds Professor Akaranta.

You are here: Home News & Events Featured News Universities Should Be Innovative, Entrepreneurial ~ Akaranta