On behalf of the Board of the University of Ibadan Centre for Sustainable development, I welcome all staff and students to the 2015/2016 Session. The Centre for Sustainable Development (CESDEV) was established by the University of Ibadan through Senate paper 5386 in May 2010 as a demonstration of the University’s commitment to Sustainable Development. It was based on the need to provide intellectual platform for identification of issues germane to sustainable development, critically analyse them, and provide leadership in finding enduring solutions that will enhance sustainable development. Sustainable development is often viewed as that which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This makes sustainable development as an aspiration that is global and as an on-going process, academic community should provide leadership in research and advocacy of its implications. A growing number of policymakers and development practitioners also share in these aspirations.
The Centre for Sustainable Development (CESDEV) thus became a Teaching and Research Centre with a mandate in multi- and inter-disciplinary approach to Sustainability issues affecting not just our continent but the whole universe. The Centre is designed to be a Teaching, Research and Development unit in the University. Presently, CESDEV has the following academic and outreach programmes:
- Development Practice Programme (DPP)
- Tourism and Development Programme (TODEP)
- Indigenous Knowledge and Development Programme (IKAD)
- Sustainable Integrated Rural Development in Africa Programme (SIRDA)
- Climate and Society Programme (CSP)
- Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Programme (EPNARP)
- Leadership and Governance Programme (LGP)
- Annual Ibadan Sustainable Development Summit (ISDS)
A lot has happened since the establishment of CESDEV. Professor Labode Popoola was appointed on the 11 August, 2010 as the pioneer Director of the Centre, and the Coordinator of MDP Programme. He served in this capacity for six years with a number of distinguished academic coordinators among which include: Dr David Aremu (TODEP); Dr. Bolanle Wahab (IKAD); Dr. Godson Ana (CSP); Dr. Olukayode Y. Ogunsanwo (EPNARP); Dr. Remi Aiyede (LGP); Dr. Olanrewaju Olaniyan - Deputy Coordinator, (MDP) and Prof. Janice E. Olawoye (ProSIRDA). More than 1000 persons have attended workshops and training programmes organized by the Centre. The Centre has graduated 179 Maters graduates in all our programmes. Presently there are more than 170 students on various academic programmes at the Centre. The Centre has an up to date academic journal, African Journal of Sustainable Development (AJSD) and have also been able to publish six books of proceedings from the past Annual Ibadan Sustainable Development Summit (ISDS)
Within the last six years, the Centre has emerged as model of best approach to enhancing trans- and multi-disciplinary in teaching, research and development, not only in Nigeria, but globally. For most of the courses taught at the Centre, team teaching is the norm, permitting the student to acquire knowledge and experience from different dimensions of each course. More so, the demand for placement in the Centre has been great and the standard of entrants accepted by the University is high.
The Centre has hosted renowned scholars, eminent leaders, dynamic technocrats and political giants among which are Prof. Jeffery D. Sachs, Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, Prof. Adebayo Akanmu of Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, Emeritus Prof. Ademola Oyejide, University of Ibadan, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Sola Olopade, University of Chicago, Prof. Godwell Nhamo, University of South Africa and Ambassador Oluseyi Onafowokan, Former Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Prof. Walter Vermeulen of Utrecht University and President, International Sustainable Development Research Society, Amina J. Ibrahim, Minister of Environment, and the Honourable Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Engr. Sulaima Lasun Yusuff, among others.
Circle of partners has expanded for sponsorships and collaborations on various activities. Few to mention are: The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and its national chapter, SDSN-Nigeria; The Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York; Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA); the African Sustainable Development Network (ASUDNET); The Millennium Village Projects (MVPs) in Nigeria (Pampaida, Kaduna State and Ikaramu, Ondo State); The University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale, Ghana; University of Tokyo, Japan; The Global Association of the MDP Programmes; Charles Odeyale Foundation (COF) for Community Sustainable Development; The UN Millennium Campaign (UNMC) and Wollo University, Ethiopia (WUE) among others.
Apart from being a major hub as a Center of Excellence in Sustainable Development in Africa, CESDEV is also the headquarters of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN-Nigeria). The network, which was set up by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, is building consciousness and providing intellectual frame within universities in Nigeria to embolden them to incorporate sustainable development and sustainability into their pedagogy and quest for knowledge. Also, through this network, we are providing needed indispensable scientific backbone for articulating development agenda at the local, state and national levels. We are therefore positioned to play signal role of catalyzing social inclusive, equitable and environmentally sustainable development in Nigeria. As a Centre, we belief that our activities will lead to the improvement of people, places and our planet in a sustainable manner. The Centre has thus made remarkable impacts and promoted the advocacy and become a leading drive for Sustainable Development in Africa and globally, particularly through the events, seminars, tour and study visits including short courses and the Annual Ibadan Sustainable Development Summit (ISDS).
The immediate past Director of the Centre, Prof. Labode Popoola, worked assiduously to bequeath what is now internationally recognized as Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Development. As the new Director, I am aware of the challenges of maintaining, and improving on the great CESDEV ideas, as well as the achievements already made at the Centre. Recent happenings around the world indicates that the creation of a sustainable world that includes humanity depends on fundamental changes in our socio-economic systems as a whole, supported by a critical re-orientation of our policies, principles, values, behaviours and lifestyles. This is where CESDEV is poised to providing the intellectual and knowledge backbone. Some of the key events of last year also put a lot of pressure on us regarding what has to be done., especially with the landmark Paris Climate Accord and adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United of Nations. The SDGs will drive the post-2015 development agenda. Our inter- and multi-disciplinary approaches to issues cannot be over-emphasized in this regard. This year promises to be as busy as usual. CESDEV as an international academic think-tank, will follow up on these issues through our research, collaborations, academic and other activities, both at the local and global levels. Our graduate programmes will also be vigorously enhanced to produce graduates that are both locally relevant and internationally acclaimed.
As we embark on this CESDEV project I implore us to work assiduously as we lead the drive for sustainable development.
Centre for Sustainable Development
University of Ibadan