Dr Momodu, Dr Ifeanyi-obi, and Dr Kasim are alumni of the CIRCLE Visiting Fellowship programme. They recently initiated a forum for alumni of this programme based in Nigeria. Here, they reflect on this and their future plans.
At Ibadan, in the month of April 2019, a number of CIRCLE Visiting Fellows (CVFs) gathered together to deliberate on how to sustain the legacy of the experience we had during the fellowship periods between 2015 and 2018. These few CVFs at that meeting agreed that there should be a Nigeria CVF Forum. This birthed the Forum. Three CVFs were subsequently nominated to direct the affairs of the Forum until such a time that we will be able to gather together in our number to do an actual election or selection as may be convenient.
|Nigeria-based alumni of the CIRCLE Visiting Fellowship programme at the ACU-UI Next Generation Workshop at the University of Ibadan, April 2019|
To keep our activities alive, we agreed at the meeting that held during the ACU-UI Next Generation Workshop held at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan from 2nd to 4th of April 2019 to be involved in the following: (1) publish a book on Climate Change. This book is meant to showcase our various researches as relates to climate change in Nigeria. This project has actually kickstarted and over twenty concept notes have been collected awaiting review for final selection, while negotiation is on-going with would-be publisher; (2) conduct an annual reunion meeting amongst the CVFs in Nigeria with the maiden edition tentatively fixed for March 2020 at the University of Ibadan; (3) generate a memorandum of understanding/constitution that will define the operations of the Forum as we move forward.
It is important at this point to note that primary purpose of the Forum is to keep alive our various training experiences, in research and leadership, at the various institutions that each of the CVFs had the fellowship. The Nigeria CVF Forum also felt it is significant to become a veritable platform for Climate Research and mentoring for upcoming researchers. The gap noticed by both the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the African Academy of Sciences that led to the implementation of CIRCLE will remain if we do not step in to fill the void. This gap is principally in regard of early career researchers in universities and research institutions that are not exposed to top notch training in research and leadership to take over from senior faculty members. The reverberating effect is the decline in contribution to global body of knowledge in various areas of endeavours, with particular emphasis on climate change. Climate change is a global topical issue particularly as it affects every sphere of life. The understanding of the effect of climate change on every sphere of life has significant input to the formulation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement and the Africa We Want.
To this end, the Nigeria CVF Forum plans to be having annual reunion meetings with the aim to review issues that affects ECRs. Climate Change and national development. How we will go about conducting these activities will be a collective decision that we will all arrive at together. Presently, we have formed a WhatsApp Group to disseminate information and also generate ideas through virtual meetings. We have selected a number of persons to serve as Editorial Committee to oversee the book launch planned for 2020. Hopefully, we will reach out to the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the various management of our home institutions with the details of our activities. It is at this point noteworthy to commend the United Kingdom Government through the Department for International Development (DFID) for facilitating all the activities of CIRCLE. Moving forward, the Nigeria CVF Forum do sincerely hope that with our spread arms, the leaders of ACU and management of our various institutions will help us to rise and meet the daunting challenges in research and leadership training.