The University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN) has taken the campaign for a university-embedded model of innovation to the global event, with a view to attract global support and also share experiences.
The University said the impact of its effort to encourage innovation among its workers and students, has resulted in the university contributing to global high-level discussions on best practices and models of innovation.
The Institution said its recently established Lion Science Park has been of great help to students and other academic staff in UNN and beyond in areas of research and innovation.
The Manager of Roar Nigeria Hub and the Pioneer Manager of Lion Science Park of the University, Chinwe Okoli, who represented the University at the African, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) business summit at the 9th Heads of State and Government, in Nairobi, Kenya, appreciated the support of UNN Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Charles Igwe, who she said, has shown great interest in encouraging and supporting research and innovations.
She also said that participant at the summit, notably, Heads of State of 79 ACP and non-ACP member countries, ministers from ACP countries, European Union, United Nations, International Organisations and private sector corporate executives, agreed that research and innovations rule 21st century world, with pledge to increase financial support to research and innovations.
Ms. Okoli, who spoke at the event on the topic “entrepreneurial finance for the empowerment of the women and youth in the ACP Countries”, shared from her wealth of experience in business incubation and innovation, unique insights that could help spur and strengthen innovation across the 79 ACP Countries.
She also exposed the participants to several impediments that plague women-owned businesses in Nigeria and some other developing countries which, expectedly, limit their opportunities to access finance to grow their businesses.
She said: “Many women in developing countries lack the idea of the choice of business. Many women naturally venture into subsistence level businesses whereas their male counterparts do otherwise.
“Another pronounced impediment is the culture of inheritance in Nigeria and other developing countries. Such a culture gives preference to male folk. The male folks are given landed properties, valuable items and other privileges as inheritance while the female folks, sadly, are denied the privileges.”
She stressed the importance of raising ambitious and audacious women and youth that can break the cultural boundaries of the old. “This will yield multiplier effects because women and young people have a way of influencing each other.”
She insisted that youth and women empowerment in ACP countries boost productivity, profitability and contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) require intervention such as technical assistance, capacity building, and re-orientation programmes, as well as policies on cultural property ownership structure and creation of support networks.
She was however happy that ACP members, at the summit, restated the need to support the academia to produce graduates with the 21st-century skills for the private and public sector, either as employees or entrepreneurs.