By Crusoe Osagie
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has donated over 3,000 textbooks to Bowen University, as part of efforts to boost learning and capacity development of both students and teachers.
IITA Deputy Director-General for Partnerships & Capacity Development, Dr. Kenton Dashiell, said the gesture to Bowen University was aimed at providing knowledge for students in particular, and the university community in general.
Receiving the Vice-Chancellor of Bowen University, Prof. Timothy Olagbemiro, Dashiell described books as reservoirs of knowledge that are necessary for human advancement and development.
According to him, the books donated to Bowen would offer students a platform to be better informed, stressing that the books would also enhance the development of the necessary human capital needed for both socio-economic and scientific transformation.
The Vice-Chancellor commended IITA for the donation and pledged that the university would make judicious use of the materials. “We thank you for this donation and we will make good use of the materials,” Olagbemiro said.
The two institutions also discussed partnership opportunities with a view to boosting the quality of research, developing capacities of students and researchers, and improving food production.
Both institutions agreed in principle to work towards signing a Memorandum of Understanding for collaboration in the future.
Making a tour of IITA campus, Olagbemiro lauded the work ethics at the institute. He said that the work attitude displayed by staff members reflected a ray of hope for Africa and Nigeria. “I am impressed with the commitment of staff to work. It shows that there is hope for Nigeria and Africa in general,” he said.
IITA Director for West Africa, Dr. Robert Asiedu, expressed the institute’s readiness to partner Bowen University. “We will be very happy to work with you,” he said.
According to him, IITA is set to open its doors to Bowen University’s lecturers and students for research and training within the institute’s research portfolio policies.
Established in 1967, IITA became the first bridge that linked Africa to a global network of international agricultural research that is known as CGIAR. Today, IITA is Africa’s leading research partner in finding solutions to hunger and poverty. Research out puts from IITA is helping Africa to increase crops’ productivity and creating wealth to millions of farm families.