UNILAG Receives £1.9m Research Grant on Urbanisation in Africa

By October 29, 2021 NEWS

The University of Lagos, Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development (CHSD), has received a research grant of €1.9m (one million, nine hundred pounds) awarded under the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) for Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) and African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), Research Excellence Programme.

This was disclosed during the national inception workshop which was organised by the Center for Housing and Sustainable Development (CHSD), with the theme “Migration Urbanisation and Conflict in Africa Research Project”.

The workshop was attended by Prof. Oluwale Familoni, (Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic and Research), Prof. Ayodele Atsenuwa, (Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development Services), Prof. Bola Oboh, (Director, Research and Innovation Office), Prof. Timothy Gbenga (Director, NUBI), Prof. Taibat Lawanson (Co-Investigator and Project Lead) and Prof. Isaac Albert (University of Ibadan).

Speaking on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Familoni, said: “We are pleased to receive this research grant of one million, nine hundred pounds. This research grant is one of six awarded under the UKRI-GCRF ARUA Research Excellence Programme and is also one of several research projects in the University of Lagos targeted of fostering stronger research and development partnerships for the actualisation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“I thank the UKRI-GCRF for supporting both North-South and South-South academic cooperation through the ARUA Programmes. The synergy among the collaborating institutions will be further strengthened by this research project. This research project focuses on unravelling the complexities surrounding migration and urbanisation in Africa, the attendant conflicts and finally charting the pathway to peaceful urban futures.

“This workshop, in kicking off the research, seeks to co-create the sustainable pathways to peace in our cities with stakeholders such as yourselves: academic, private practitioners, policy makers, international development agencies, government agencies, civil society actors, faith-based organisations and local communities.

“The future of African cities cannot be determined outside science-policy engagement. Effective development strategies cannot be developed without the contributions academic institutions. Providing the evidence based for targeted policies and actions in peace-keeping, peace-making and peace building in Nigeria cities is the game changer.”

The keynote speaker, Prof. Albert, highlighted the various conflicts affecting urbanisation and housing in rural and urban areas, saying: “This workshop aims to contribute to current academic and policy work by taking innovative aapproaches to challenge existing assumptions and contribute towards new policies to the relationship between rural-urban/South-South migration, urbanisation and conflict.

“We aim to involve researchers from a diverse set of disciplinary and academic backgrounds, in order to break existing silos and bring to the fore insectional approaches. We are shifting the focus from the technical to the socio-politcal without reducing the importance of capacity building for better urban development and delivery of the SDGs.

“The conflict that is affecting urbanisation is that many migrants live on the margins of legality, and as such their voices are not brought in policy discussions. The center is aimed to contribute towards centering urban policies to the needs and aspirations of the weakest, and thereby contribute to welfare, peace and justice of the vulnerable,” he said.

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