Covenant News

ASIM Coordinator Seeks Deeper Ties with Partner Institutions

The Coordinator of the Africa Sustainable Infrastructure Mobility (ASIM) project, Professor Innocent Musonda of the University of Johannesburg, on a working visit to Covenant University, has stated the eagerness of the consortium to see what level of relationship can evolve from the platform of the project.

Professor Musonda, who made this known during a working visit with a member of the consortium, Dr. Theresa Mkandawire from the University of Malawi, said the visit is all about identifying the need for sustainable infrastructure in Africa through the harnessing of a critical mass of African scholars and researchers to proffer solutions to challenges bedevilling Africa’s development.

According to him, growth in infrastructural projects has led to an increased demand for a pool of local experts to deliver sustainable infrastructure, with the success of such projects requiring talented professionals who can influence policy and practice at all levels.

Professor Musonda noted that there was an urgent need to drive the signed MOU of partner institutions by tracking progress attained through milestones and roadmaps, prompting decision-making on mobility, funding disbursements in line with institutional policies for financial management, and having partner members actively involved in chairing meetings and work packages.

He submitted that there are numerous benefits that partner institutions will gain from the memorandum of understanding. According to him, the platform of ASIM makes enhanced collaboration between partner institutions easy, creates a network of scholars for sustainable infrastructure development, helps increase research output, and improves internationalization capacity in institutions, among other things.

Professor Musonda highlighted student recruitment, adherence to mobility numbers and distribution, visa acquisition obstacles, alignment of academic calendars, institutional policies, research funding, student expectations, research clearance in some countries, and administrator funding as some of the challenges militating against the 100 per cent performance of the project.

While the ASIM project supervisory board was already in place to ensure the scheme's success, Professor Musonda noted that there are many lessons to be learned as the project proceeds, as participating in mobility can be a very enriching experience as the consortium continues to enjoy robust support from the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).

The Dean, School of Postgraduate, Covenant University, Professor Akan Williams, said the ASIM project brings another form of dimension to collaborating to build and proffer solutions to the myriads of development issues bothering the continent.

Professor Williams reiterated the importance of the project, noting that it will also help create a favourable outlook. According to him, the university is ready to suspend rules that may impede the quick settlement of foreign students, as long as they don’t breach the existing rules of the university’s system.

Responding, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abiodun H. Adebayo, said he is always enthused about inter-regional collaboration in Africa, and as a result, the ASIM project is a welcome initiative that will foster more collaboration amongst African universities.

Professor Adebayo commended the scheme, noting that Covenant is committed to driving excellence and the emancipation of the black race. He assured the team that Covenant as an institution will popularize the ASIM project and work to ensure it receives the full support it deserves.

The meeting has in attendance the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olujide Adekeye; Acting Registrar, Mrs. Regina Tobi-David; Director, Financial Services, Pastor Olugbenga Kiki; Dean, College of Engineering and member of the ASIM Consortium team, Professor David Olukanni; Dean, College of Science and Technology; Head, Department of Building Technology, Professor Olabosipo Fagbenle; Head, Department of Estate Management, Professor Olusola Ajibola; Head, Department of Architecture, Professor Oluwatayo Adedapo Adewunmi; and Head, Department of Civil Engineering, Professor Anthony Ede.

The ASIM project is funded by the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme of the European Union, with beneficiaries drawn from Covenant University, Nigeria; Ardhi University, Tanzania; the University of Malawi; the University of Johannesburg, South Africa; and Leeds Beckett University, England.

 

 

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