Mandela Day: UNILAG, EWAN host foreign varsities

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The University of Lagos (UNILAG) has partnered with the Education Writers’ Association of Nigeria (EWAN), to host students of certain universities in Africa and the United Kingdom as part of events slated to mark the Nelson Mandela International Day.

The week-long event will commence on July 17, with the third edition of the UMOJA African Students’ Leadership Network Summit, a forum dedicated to enhancing shared cultural and educational experiences across the continent.

Participating institutions include University of the Western Cape, Stellenbosch University and the University of Witwatersrand, all in South Africa; University of Dundee, and Aston University, from the United Kingdom, among others.

Speaking of the event, the Head of the Communication Unit at UNILAG, Adejoke Alaga-Ibraheem, in a statement to journalists, noted that aside from other partners, EWAN will on July 19, host an engagement session with participants across the globe, tagged “The Youth Discourse on Making more Mandelas”.

Alaga Ibraheem added that while the UMOJA summit has as its theme “Technology and Culture Preservation,” the overall event will witness panel discussions and plenary sessions on various issues of continental and global concerns between July 17 and 21.

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In her words, “This year’s UMOJA summit is aimed at fostering cross-fertilisation of ideas, research collaborations, capacity development, and knowledge sharing.

“We will have a Three-Minute-Thesis (3MT) challenge, a competition to showcase development-oriented theses by the applicants who would have submitted a three-minute video detailing what the thesis hopes to achieve and the possible impacts on the people and the planet.

“There will also be a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) session on July 19, in partnership with the School of International Futures (SOIF), tagged: ‘Parliaments and Future Generations.”

Speaking on the reason for the partnership with UNILAG, the Chairman, EWAN, Mojeed Alabi, stated that the focus of the event, which was to share the African history, experiences, and legacies of the global icon, geared towards inspiring a new generation of leaders, was the main reason the Association keyed into the project.

According to Alabi, “Africa is rich in both human and natural resources, but the continent suffers from poor leadership and corruption. It is therefore imperative for whoever is interested in rebuilding Africa for global relevance and honour to start planting the seeds of selflessness, integrity, transparency, and accountability in the younger generations.

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“Again, whether by character, ideology, or leadership skills, Mandela remains a perfect model for whoever aspires to lead any society. Sharing his history and legacies will help to build more of him towards rewriting the story of our continent” .

On his part, the Director, International Relations, Partnerships and Prospects at UNILAG, Professor Ismail Ibraheem, said participants will also visit the Lagos State House of Assembly to gain insight into parliamentary processes, adding that community service such as a painting of a location within the university will also be carried out by its student leaders.

“It will be a week of intensive academic and cultural exchange for all of us including the students and accompanying staff, especially our visitors from South Africa, and the United Kingdom, among others,” Ibraheem noted.

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