By Kingsley Adegboye
University of Lagos Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development CHSD, African Research Universities Alliance ARUA, UK Research and Innovation UKRI and Global Challenge Research Fund GCRF, have received a 1.9 million pounds research grant to address migration, urbanisation and conflict in Africa.
The MUCA project which is to be executed in three years, is in collaboration with ARUA centres in Addis Ababa and Makerere Universities and the University of Sheffield equally supports building research capacities of young African Universities such as University of Jos, Nigeria and Gulu University, Uganda.
To kick start research project, the Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development, University of Lagos weekend organised a national inception workshop that drew participants from academics, private sector, policymakers, international development agencies, government agencies, civil society organisations, faith-based organisations and local communities.
In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and Research), Prof. Oluwole Familoni, said the ARUA Centre of Excellence for Urbanisation and Habitable Cities has a mandate to scale up applied urban research and practice in Africa as well as work towards achieving the SDG goals.
Pointing out that the one-day workshop is the ideal platform to undertake the assignment and the follow-on activities towards building safer, inclusive, sustainable and resilient cities in Nigeria and beyond, Ogundipe noted that “This research project on migration, urbanisation and conflict will interlink issues that determine the future of our cities.
“This research grant of one million, nine hundred pounds is one of six awarded under the UKRI-GCRF-ARUA Research Excellence Programme which is also one of several research projects in the University of Lagos targeted at fostering stronger research and development partnerships for the actualisation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“This MUCA project in collaboration with the ARUA centres at Addis Ababa and Makerere Universities and the University of Sheffield also supports building research capacities at young African universities such as University of Jos in Nigeria, Gulu University in Uganda and Hawassa University in Ethiopia”.
Speaking on the overview of ARUA Centres of Excellence, Director, Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development ARUA CoE on Urbanisation and Habitable Cities, Prof. Timothy Nubi, said ARUA Centre which is centre for excellence in urbanisation and habitable cities, coordinates multidisciplinary research activities and capacity building across various urbanisation and built environment thematic areas.
Nubi who said “We are working towards a template that is workable in Nigerian communities, added that in partnership with the thirteen ARUA member universities, CHSD provides opportunities for in-depth engagement and solution finding to Africa’s critical urban issues.
According to him, CHSD engages in active collaborations in areas of research and practice with federal and state government agencies, non-governmental organisations, real estate developers’ association and slum communities through research clusters.
In his remark, Lagos state Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban development, Idris Salako, commended the effort of the organisers of the workshop, saying the effort at addressing migration, urbanisation and conflict in Africa towards peaceful urban futures is coming at this critical of the country and Africa.