Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) said it has strategically positioned itself as a champion of a course that would herald better perception and understanding of Nigerians and Africans by developed world at any global gathering or discussion
The institution was worried that Africans had continued to suffer rejection and denial of some opportunities base on wrong perception.
It announced its position at the first International Conference of Social Sciences, which begun, in Abuja, on Monday.
Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, in his welcome remarks, expressed the frustration of Africans especially at global discussions.
He was, however, optimistic that the gathering of social scientists from across Africa would offer better solution to the challenges.
He suggested that they take advantage of the increased credibility and acceptability of NOUN, to propagate messages and actions that would change the wrong perception of Africans at global events.
He was happy with the increasing demand by thousands of candidates for an opportunity to get quality and affordable education in NOUN. “This was contrary to what we had in past few years.”
The Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences of NOUN, Dr. Ganiyat Adesina-Uthman, was hopeful that the conference which focused on issues of security, governance and sustainable development will, perhaps, proffer solution to the ugly development in the Lake Chad region.
She disclosed that over 50 local and international institutions contributed over 200 abstracts to the discourse on the African image.
Meanwhile, the VC of Baze University, Abuja, Prof. Tahir Mamman, who was the chairman of the occasion, stressed the need did urgent action that would herald a significant change in the perception of Africans by non-Africans.
“Africans are treated with disdain, disrespect each time they are at London, US airports or any other global events because of misconceptions. They see us as inferior and second class citizens of the world. And it ought not to be so.”
He, thus, challenged the delegates to discuss extensively and proffer the solution needed to change the situation.