Canon partners UNILAG on entrepreneurship empowerment project
CANON CEN TRAL NORTH AF RICA (CCNA), has initiated a partnership with the University of Lagos (UNILAG) aimed at training and enriching the next generation of students through innovative photography and printing skills acquisition.
The collaboration, according to the world’s imaging and printing solutions leader, is one of its major commitments towards enhancing art, skill and future careers of the next generation by investing expertise, technology and opportunities.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Canon Space project held at the Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Centre( ESDC), University of Lagos, Somesh Adukia, managing director, CCNA, thanked the university management for embracing the company’s idea and granting it a platform to expand its reach in Nigeria, particularly among the students.
Adukia, who spoke virtually from his office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, noted that since the establishment of CanonNigeria in 2016, the company has not only showed interest in doing business, but also committed to making positive contributions, supporting host communities, and creating unlimited opportunities and income for individuals through the utilization of its products and services.
“Through our association with UNILAG and the creation of Canon Space, we would like to provide these opportunities to UNILAG students so that they can acquire valuable skills in the field of photography/printing and also create a better future and opportunities for themselves,” he said.
The managing director further disclosed that the company has employed a team of Nigerians who are holding the fort high in the Nigerian market and partnered with several indigenous businesses, marketing and media agencies in its drive to expand operations and create business opportunities in the Nigerian market. On his part, Sunday Adebisi, director, Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Centre,UNILAG, said the partnership with Canon is one of the institution’s numerous entrepreneurship projects targeted at training 5,000 student entrepreneurs in five years and connecting the students to the world through innovative skills.
The Canon Space, he averred, offers an opportunity for members of the school community, inclusive of students and staff, to be equipped with the beautiful skills of cinematography and photography. He added that the partnership also presents an opportunity for students to acquire Canon photography equipment through an installment plan covering their duration in the institution.
Commenting on undergraduate unemployment in Africa, Victoria Rubadiri, Kenyan journalist and one of the event moderators, observed that 45 per cent of university graduates in Africa are jobless, almost a quarter of university graduates in Nigeria are unemployed while statistics show that it takes a Kenyan undergraduate an average of five years to secure a job.
Dwelling on this, Rubadiri asserted that in scaling through the unemployment hurdles in Africa, whatever a student acquires in terms of skills and services is just as important as the university certificate. According to her, partnering with UNILAG is an evidence of Canon’s commitment towards equipping students with the necessary digital photography skills as an addition to institutional certification and help tackle undergraduate unemployment through the entrepreneurship potential of photography.
In his remarks, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, vice-chancellor, UNILAG, said the space for using educational certificates is already saturated, creating the need to expose and bring students to the realities of the future through entrepreneurship and skills development.
Citing the relevance of skill acquisition in photography, he said; “When I was informed about Canon coming in, I was excited because the official photographer of President Muhammadu Buhari is an alumnus of the University of Lagos.
I want you to know that he got his B.Sc. degree in Chemistry but because he picked interest in photography, we can all see what he has been able to achieve in the area of photography.”
Ogundipe commended Canon for choosing UNILAG as the pioneer tertiary institution in Nigeria for its photography/printing training project, adding that the partnership would facilitate the institution’s drive towards entrepreneurship development of the students.
Speaking on behalf of the students, Nwosu Udochukwu, secretary, Council of Faculty Presidents, expressed gratitude to Canon and the school management for the strides taken towards equipping students with entrepreneurship skills to improve their chances of employment in the future. “We have about 56 thousand students in the University of Lagos and this opportunity will be a very big one for those who are interested in photography,” he stated. Udochukwu also stressed that the need for professional photography has grown in the last five years and the University of Lagos happens to be a major hub. He further averred that having a photography training space in the institution campus is an advantage to the students and the country in general.