Prof. Olubunmi Olapade-Olaopa, the Provost of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, says the 71-year-old medical college has clinched the fourth position in Africa in the 2019 World University Ranking.
Olapade-Olaopa, who disclosed this on Thursday in Ibadan while speaking with newsmen at the end of the Innovative Research Fair of the college, said the institution is also the first in sub-Saharan Africa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three-day fair had the tagline: “Innovation for Development.”
According to the provost, the premier Nigerian college fell behind Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa as well as Cairo and Mansoura Universities in Egypt.
Olapade-Olaopa said that the College of Medicine had inched forward from its previously held eighth position in Africa.
“I am very proud and pleased as provost to be welcoming you to this important high research week.
“What better way to celebrate this than for us to receive the announcement yesterday, that the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, is the primus inter pares, in the area of medicine, in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Last year, we were eighth in Africa, falling behind Makerere University in Uganda, but yesterday we went from eighth to fourth in Africa, after Egypt and Johannesburg.
“I promised my constituency that we would no longer be looking at the tail light of Makarere before I left this office and yes Makarere is now looking at our tail lights, as we have overtaken Makarere, ” he said.
Olapade-Olaopa attributed the leap to innovative research.
“Why is it important that this has happened today. I have absolutely no doubt that our research efforts, having been enhanced in the last couple of years, have been responsible for not only maintaining our position in Nigeria, but topping Makarere.
“College of Medicine jumped ranks from eight to four in the ranking of medical schools in Africa because of the added impact of our researchers, our students and alumni who go out to demonstrate that we are actually a world standard medical school.
“Most of the things we do here are of international standard. Of course, we must not rest on our oars. We must stay consistent and continue to advance.
“We shall increase funding to one of our research partners by another N2 million next year,” he said.
Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, said that the success of the teaching hospital, as a leader in healthcare delivery was not unconnected with the many evidence-based researches from the College of Medicine.
Otegbayo, represented by the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, Dr Victor Akinmoladun, pledged his continued support and commitment toward cutting-edge and innovative research.
“The mantra for this administration which is ‘ shared vision for excellence and innovations on research, ‘ will play very critical role in attaining this vision, ” he said.
In his presentation, the guest speaker, Prof. Martins Emeje, said that research forms the bedrock of development for any nation.
Emeje, who is the Head, Technology Innovation and Support Centre, Abuja, called for increased funding of research.
He added that the country’s academia must wake up to its responsibility and proffer precise and indigenous solutions to the problem of underdevelopment in the country through innovative research.
NAN reports that the grand finale of the fair featured exhibition, award presentation and innovation pitches.