Research Offers Solutions to Africa’s Challenges –CUCRID Director
Embarking on deliberate and sustained researches would help to find solutions to Africa’s and nay man’s challenges, the Director, Covenant University Centre for Research, Innovation and Discovery (CUCRID), Professor Samuel Wara, has said.
He made this assertion on the sideline of the 2016 Covenant University-International Conference on African Development Issues (CU-ICADI) where products of researches initiated by the institution were exhibited.
Some of the exhibited products include a CU PV Solar Charging Kiosk (Green Energy Products), CU Retrofitted Green House Luminaires (Energy Efficient Conservation Projects), soaps made from waste cooking oil, tomato fruits with pectinase from Aspergollus Niger and Hebron edible oil and poultry feeds.
Researches, he said, are done to find real time solutions to man’s challenges, as doing research that will end up with tangible products that can deal with many of the issues that are confronting humanity, namely energy, security and health among others.
Explaining the purpose of the exhibition, Professor Wara said, “It’s to see how research can serve as a solution to the myriad of challenges that are holding Africa down and not allowing us to develop.
“Take for instance, there is nothing that does not need power to be driven, and power is very scarce. As a matter of fact we are a continent that is energy poor, and it’s very critical in a country like Nigeria where you have not more than 200 Watts available to an individual and the world standard is a thousand Watts. So we are very poor.”
Number two, we are trying to look at simple solutions through technology to deal with these issues, he added.
Covenant University, Wara revealed, has come to understand that there are a lot of solutions nature is holding to many of man’s challenges. “So, it’s time to go back to nature, the time to derive all that’s embedded in nature for man’s own comfort,” said the professor of electrical engineering.
Prodded on the innovation in some of the products on display, which rely on solar energy that is not new, Wara said the innovation is in their applications.
“Solar is not new, but we are yet to know where they have used it for a vulcanizing outfit, for instance. And here you can see that we have a unit to serve vulcanisers’ need for pumping their tires, that’s powered by solar.
“Yes, solar is not new, yet we are yet to see models that can replace what our audio and video cassette sellers would use by using generators. Solar is not new, yes, but how about access and cost? We are trying to see how we can bring down the cost and how we can improve access by the various things we are doing here. That’s what CU is doing new, making access reachable to a multitude of people,” he said.
The CUCRID Director assured that what was on display was not how far CU can go as there is room for improvement. According to him, “there is no end to development because it’s a function of innovation”.
“We can’t say we are at the end of the road, whether in terms of concept or in terms of design, in terms of product and their packaging. We can’t say we are at the end, we’re just at the beginning, but we know we are doing very well. I’m happy to note that a good number of the products have been exhibited internationally and they’ve won medals, special awards and things like that. So, even at this stage, we know we are doing well, but there is room for more improvement.”