Mrs. Thanni Bolaji

A postgraduate student in the University’s Department of Soil Science and Land Management, College of Plant Science and Crop Protection (COLPLANT), Mrs. Bolaji Thanni, has bagged the ‘Most Promising Innovation Award’, at the NextGen Bio-innovation competition, held at the African Diaspora Biotech Summit 2017, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, while successful participants at the two-month Skill Acquisition Programme of the International Centre for Professional Development (ICPD) of the University, were recently presented completion certificates.
For the UK award, an innovative presentation, which earned Mrs. Bolaji the award, was the “Advocate for Clean Climate and Environment (ACCE) Nigeria. According to her presentation, ACCE is an environmentally-conscious and non-profit organisation that is poised to providing solutions to the changing climate in Nigeria. The group was convened by Mrs. Bolaji Thanni and co-ordinated by the Convener, Mr. Rasheed Lawal (VP), Mr. Hammed Mogaji (Secretary), Mr. Segun Akintunde (Information Technology Personnel) and Mr. Daniel Anim (Research Officer), who were once students; either at the undergraduate or postgraduate level in the University. The organisation’s staff adviser was Dr. Moses Oyatogun, Director FUNAAB Zoo Park. The NextGen Africa Bio-innovation pitching competition was held by the foundation, to celebrate bio-innovations made by Africa to improve life and system in Africa. JR biotech foundation is a non-profit organisation, established as an action oriented-entity, to enhance scientific research and research-based education in Africa. The foundation selected 17 African-based agricultural researchers, students and academics from the numerous applications received, to attend a world-class Molecular Biology Laboratory Training workshop with the Department of Plant Science, University of Cambridge.

PG Student Gets Award in UK, ICPD Awards CertificatesThe training, which provided participants with new knowledge and practical experiences on a variety of molecular biotechnology laboratory techniques, could be applied to improve the quality of their research and to train others. Also provided for them were training on molecular detection of plant viruses, immunodiagnostic test to identify infected plant, microscopic investigation of fungi colonisation in rice root and marker trait association, among others.

Lawrence KazeemThe summit’s keynote addresses titled, “Strengthening Biotech Research Capacity Building, Innovation and Commercialisation in Africa” and “The Role of African Diaspora in Building Competitive and Sustainable African Bio-Economy” were delivered by the Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency, Professor Lucy Ogbadu and the Executive Director, Africa Foundation for Development, Mr. Onyekachi Wambu, respectively. One of the panel sessions with the theme, “Restructuring Africa’s Tertiary Education System to Make it Globally Competitive”, had the Director, Biotechnology Centre of FUNAAB, Dr. Adewale Obadina, where he spoke on the need to make tertiary education system in Africa attain global standing. He identified poor infrastructural development, lack of quality training, capacity building and funding for research and training at the university level, as well as obsolete teaching curricula as problems that limit creative thinking and the ability of many African students to compete on the global stage.

In another development, the representative of Africa Asian Foreign Investment and Development Agency and Brightsword Technology, Singapore, Dr. Raphael Iluyomade, during the presentation of ICPD Certificates, has tasked the newly-certified trainees, to create positive image about themselves, which, would determine what they want to become. He said, “Never allow circumstances to lead you, you have to lead circumstances”, while sharing his personal experiences, as he told them that everything they acquire and learn now would determine who they become. Earlier, the Centre Manager of ICPD, Mr. Lawrence Kazeem, had welcomed the trainees, tasked them, never to be idle at any point in time, but keep their hands on something, which informed the two weeks training at the Centre. The trainees were certified on different fields such as mobile phone repairs and maintenance: solar and inverter installation and maintenance, econometric and mathematical economics, events planning and management, business planning and proposal writing. Others include: computer engineering, computer communication, network and security, web design, application development, blog management, photography, catering and hotel management.