Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
The Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation, Harare, Zimbabwe, Professor Emmanuel Nnadozie, has blamed the World Bank for misleading African governments into laying faulty foundation for its universities.
He said that the faulty advice issued by the international financial body was responsible for the continent’s poor university education which, to some extent, is responsible for its underdevelopment.
Nnadozie made the statement while delivering the 3rd Convocation Lecturer of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo (AE-FUNAI) in Ebonyi State. The lecture was themed: Fulfilling Education’s Promise in Africa: The Role of the University.
He reasoned that if the World Bank had not come up with the faulty advice, university education in Africa would have by now, been the best, and by extension, served as a solution hub for the continent’s challenges.
Nnadozie said: “In particular, the poor quality of university education emerged as an outcome of the faulty advice from the World Bank to African governments to shift attention from tertiary education to basic education. The mistaken thinking was that if governments provided basic education, the children would be alright.
“This may be true to some extent and perhaps for developed countries, but African countries would need the transformative research and human capital development that universities alone can provide.
“As a consequence of the misguided advice, Africa is grappling with a grave mismatch between student populations and investments in higher education. The poor quality of university education was the price of this mismatch. The recent public acknowledgement of this fact by the World Bank is instructive,” he added.
In his speech, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba, said that the university was doing everything possible to stand out as the best university in Africa through institutionalisation of quality research, training and retraining of staff, and provision of quality learning environment.
He disclosed that the state governor, Chief David Umahi, in his magnanimity had donated a N40 million engineering workshop which construction is rapidly ongoing.
“The governor is building an engineering workshop for the university. The work is expected to cost N40 million. He brought the first tranche of N20 million.
“The workshop is now at the roofing stage and we have a report which the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (admin) will deliver to the governor with the pictures that the first N20 million have been judiciously used and we are waiting for the next N20 million to complete it.”