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Mandela Day: UNILAG, EWAN to host S.African, UK students

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The University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, and the Education Writers’ Association of Nigeria (EWAN) have disclosed readiness to host students from South Africa and the United Kingdom universities to celebrate the late anti-apartheid leader and African nationalist, Nelson Mandela.

A week-long event will commence on Monday July 17 and end on Friday, July 21, at UNILAG.

The Head of Communication Unit at UNILAG, Adejoke Alaga-Ibraheem, gave the hint in a statement on Friday.

According to her, UNILAG holds UMOJA African Students Leadership Network Summit every year to enhance shared cultural and educational experiences among African countries and this year’s edition, which is the third, will incorporate the annual Nelson Mandela international day.

She explained that aside from other partners such as the South African Consulate Lagos, EWAN, a body of journalists covering education beat, will, on Wednesday July 19, host an engagement session with participants on building more selfless leaders like the late Mandela in Africa and other continents.

She listed the participating institutions to include the University of Witwatersrand, University of the Western Cape and Stellenbosch University, all in South Africa; as well as the University of Dundee, and Aston University, from the United Kingdom.

Alaga-Ibraheem stated that, while the EWAN’s session, themed: “Youth Discourse on Making more Mandelas” would feature panel discussions and plenary on various issues of global concerns, the UMOJA summit, would focus on the theme: “Technology and Culture Preservation.”

She stated further, “The programme will also witness a three-minute- PhD video recorded Thesis (3MT) competition among doctoral students from any university across the world with research development to solving specific societal problems, particularly in Africa.

She noted that the top three winners would be rewarded with cash prizes and scholarship as the case may be.

Speaking on the partnership, Chairman of EWAN, Mojeed Alabi, stated that the programme has the objective of sharing the history, experiences and legacies of the Late Mandela towards the production of a new generation of quality leaders.

According to him, Africa is endowed with rich human and natural resources, but the continent remains poor due to bad leadership and corruption.

“And it’s now necessary for African people, who are interested in rebuilding the continent for global relevance to start planting the seeds of selflessness, integrity, transparency and accountability that Mandela was known for, in the younger generations.”

Based on this conviction, Alabi noted, is what informed EWAN’s decision to embrace the partnership with UNILAG.

In his own remark, the Director of International Relations, Partnerships and Prospect, UNILAG, Ismail Ibraheem, noted that participants would visit the Lagos State House of Assembly to gain insight into parliamentary processes in Nigeria, adding that community service such as painting of a location within the university would also be carried out by its student leaders.

“The event will be a week of intensive academic and cultural exchange for participants both from within and outside Nigeria,” he said.

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