Nigerian VC gets top UNESCO job

PROFESSOR Barth. N. Okolo, Vice Chancellor, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), has been elected as the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of a United Nations (UN) agency for the next four years.

The election was held by members of the Advisory Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) at the premier university. It was part of a series of events put together by the International Biotechnology Centre, UNESCO Category 2, to mark its inaugural conference.

Speaking during the election, leader of the foreign delegates to the conference and Executive Secretary, International Basic Sciences Programme, UNESCO Headquarters, Prof. Maciej Nalecz, explained that Okolo’s choice was as a result of the board’s belief in his ability to steer the ship to greater heights in biotechnological developments.

Nalecz re-affirmed the commitment of the world body to the nation’s drive for biotechnological advancement through training, research and modern tools, among others, stressing that the Centre would facilitate the expected related outcomes.

Members of the board at the meeting included Lucy Hoareau, Desk Officer for Biotechnology, UNESCO Headquarters; Prof. Iqbal Parker, Director-General (DG), ICGEB, South Africa; Prof. Dinakar Salunke, Director, Regional Centre for Biotechnology, New Delhi, India; Dr. Chris Nwoguh, Health Protection Agency, Salisbury, United Kingdom) (UK and Prof. Tim Crick, University of Sheffield, UK.

Others were Prof. Walter S. Alhassan, SABIMA Accra, Ghana; Prof. Phillippe Desmeth, President of world federation for culture collection (WFCC); Prof. Dafna Feinholz, Chief of Section-Bioethics, UNESCO Headquarters; and Dr. Chikelu Mba, FAO, Rome.