Roar Nigeria Hub Hosts Facebook Stakeholders Roundtable at University of Nigeria Nsukka

Roar Nigeria

The University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) was a beehive of activities as it recently welcomed a team from the online social media giant, Facebook. The team, who visited Roar Nigeria Hub for a stakeholder’s roundtable, was led by the Public Policy Director for Facebook Africa, Ebele Okobi.

They started with a courtesy call to the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Benjamin Ozumba and then did a brief tour of the Lion Laptop Assembly Plant and the Lion Science Park. The team was then welcomed at Roar Nigeria Hub for the planned stakeholder roundtable hosted by the Co-Founder and Director of Roar Nigeria, Charles Emembolu.

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The roundtable included representatives from the academia, private sector and government across eight states of the South-South and South-East Nigeria. These representatives include innovation hubs, academia, business leaders, investors, the technology community, members of the SSE Angel Network (SSEAN), and other national technology leaders.

Discussions were mainly on policy issues, technology commercialization, knowledge transfer, academic research, mentorship opportunities and the engagement strategy for Facebook.

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While explaining the purpose of the visit, Ebele Okobi appreciated the university management for its effort in creating an enabling environment for innovation to thrive in the academia. Okobi said, “We realize the critical role of policy in creating an environment that maximizes the potential for technology to drive forward economic, social and academic advancement.”

In her remarks, she talked about some of the partnerships Facebook had launched in Nigeria while stating that the visit was to explore better ways of partnering African institutions and organizations such as Roar Nigeria at the policy level.

Interestingly, the University of Nigeria boasts of several initiatives in the technology and innovation space including the Lion Laptops being assembled locally at UNN; the Roar Nigeria Hub, West Africa’s first full-fledged university embedded business, technology incubator, and the recently-launched Lion Science Park.

According to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba:

I consider this engagement a milestone in our journey to bring academia to the forefront of technology and innovation advancement in Nigeria. The significance of this roundtable has been the ability to have top-level policymakers and influencers from institutions such as Facebook, State Governments, Regional Businesses, Student Leaders, Chambers of Commerce, Investors and Universities discussing research, technology, innovation, commercialization as tools for national development. –Prof. Benjamin Ozumba

Prof. Benjamin Ozumba who was happy with the visit of the Facebook policy leadership and other stakeholders at UNN, said, “in order to restore the dignity of man, we have to make the University of Nigeria the home of innovation in Africa. That is a journey we (UNN) embarked upon in 2014 and I am happy that global brands such as Facebook are taking note of these efforts.”

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About Roar Nigeria

Roar Nigeria is a private sector-led incubator opened in 2016 as a collaboration with University of Nigeria and recently partnered Facebook under the NG Hub program to foster businesses that leverage deep technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Virtual Reality, Drones, etc).

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