Experts gather to explore solutions to global challenges facing Nigeria

Nigerian experts are joining their University of Birmingham counterparts at a high-profile online event exploring how researchers can help to solve global challenges that are affecting the people of Nigeria.

Taking place from 2.00pm to 4.30pm on Friday 15 October, the symposium celebrates the arrival in Nigeria of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay, of which the University is an official partner.

And as official partner, the University has selected 17-year-old Abaiola Joy Jonathan as its Batonbearer in Nigeria.

Anyone interested in taking part in the symposium can register https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/events/qbr-symposium-on-nigerian-leadership-in-global-challenges.aspx. Experts will discuss three key themes featuring a range of experts including:

Environment – Nigeria’s role as a regional environmental ‘powerhouse’

  • Professor Aleksandra Cavoski – University of Birmingham
  • Professor Temilola Oluseyi – University of Lagos
  • Professor Francis Pope – University of Birmingham
  • Professor Kayode Owoade – Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  • Dr Olawale E. Abiye – Obafemi Awolowo University

Democracy & Security –  Does social media help or hinder security in Nigeria?

  • Professor Nic Cheeseman – University of Birmingham
  • Professor Adigun Agbaje – University of Ibadan
  • Professor Emmanuel Remi Aiyede – University of Ibadan
  • Dr Sarah Ssali – Makerere University, Uganda
  • Professor Jibrin Ibrahim – Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja

Health – Combating the danger of surgical site infection: the impact of collaboration

    • Dr Adesoji Ademuyiwa – University of Lagos
    • Dr Adewale Adisa – Obafemi Awolowo University
    • Dr. Ugochukwu Ekwunife – Lagos University Teaching Hospitals
    • Professor Abdullah Abdur-Rahman – Babcock University Nigeria
    • Dr. Taiwo Lawal – University of Ibadan
    • Mr. Aneel Bhangu – University of Birmingham

Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Birmingham commented: As part of our commitment to supporting Birmingham 2022, we are holding a series of academic, student and partner events in Commonwealth countries to coincide with the Queen’s Baton Relay visit.

“I am delighted that we begin these vibrant exciting events in Nigeria, focussing on how we work collaboratively with research partners in West Africa to tackle global challenges and help improve the quality of life for people in this part of the world.”

Batonbearer Abaiola Joy Jonathan is proud of her involvement of bringing tennis to her school and is working on creating a tennis team for her fellow students. She is also a black belt in Karate and plays volleyball. Passionate about sport she has also written a booklet about women in sport – equal rights and equal pay.

She commented: “Sport challenges us to be our best selves and I want to be a role model for children around the world. I love my successes in sport and being the University of Birmingham’s Batonbearer in Nigeria is the icing on the cake. Thank you to the University for this awesome opportunity, at which I’m deeply humbled.”

The University’s environmental scientists helped to create a hi-tech heart for the Queen’s Baton, which contains atmospheric sensors with laser technology that analyses the environmental conditions wherever it is in the world.

Augmented Reality (AR) will be used to creatively visualise the data captured throughout the journey to invite more awareness of and conversations around air quality across the Commonwealth.

Data collected on the Baton’s journey will contribute to ongoing research projects being conducted across the globe by atmospheric scientist Professor Francis Pope and his team.

Professor Pope commented: “Atmospheric data captured during the baton’s global journey will be highly valuable in starting important conversations around air quality across the Commonwealth. We have several air quality research programmes in Africa, including Nigeria, and look forward to receiving data from the Baton during its time in country.”

The University of Birmingham is planning a series of events to mark the Baton’s progress through countries where it has particularly strong research and education partnerships.

These countries also include Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia and Singapore.

These events will be underpinned by commonwealth-wide celebrations for staff, students and alumni.

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