altThe University of Nigeria (UNN) has joined the Virtual Institute as its 39th core university member, bringing the number of countries represented in the Virtual Institute to 13 in Africa and 42 worldwide.

We owe the first contact with the University to Hilary Nwokeabia, of  UNCTAD's Division on Investment and Enterprise. Discussions about Vi membership began in July of last year, during a visit from UNN’s Vice-Chancellor and his Senior Special Assistant.

Located in the town of Nsukka in South-Eastern Nigeria, UNN was founded by Nigeria’s first president, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, in 1960, the year in which the country gained political independence. Its aim is to be a globally competitive, research-focused university, responsive to the needs of society and delivering world-class education and knowledge.

The Vi will cooperate with UNN’s Department of Economics at the Faculty of Social Sciences. The department offers a BSc, MSc and PhD in Economics, with, among others, courses in international economics, monetary economics, financial markets and institutions, fiscal policies, problems and policies of development, and petroleum economics. Research covers a range of macroeconomic and trade issues, such as Economic Partnership Agreements, the ECOWAS common external tariff, foreign portfolio investment, exchange rates, and the links between trade policy, gender and poverty.

The cooperation with the Vi will be coordinated by Hyacinth Ichoku. Holder of a PhD in economics, he is a senior lecturer at the Department of Economics, responsible for courses on macroeconomic policies, economics of international trade, and foreign direct investment. His research, covers health economics, and various aspects of poverty analysis.

Two colleagues will join him to support UNN’s cooperation with the Vi: Moses Oduh, who  teaches courses on macroeconomic policies, the multilateral trading system and regional/bilateral trade agreements, and whose research focuses on foreign investment, trade agreements, and trade and poverty; and. Chukwuma Agu, teacher of  macroeconomic policies, trade and poverty, and the multilateral trading system and a researcher in the areas of macroeconomic policies, trade agreements, regional integration, competitiveness, trade facilitation, foreign direct investment, and trade and poverty.

The university is ready to share its teaching experience and skills in advocacy for trade policies at the country level with other members of the network. It is also interested in student and staff exchanges, and offers logistical support and accommodation for such visits.

UNN hopes that Vi membership will enlarge its possibilities for international cooperation , and enhance the international outlook of the university, the skills of its staff and students and its ability to positively influence trade policies of their country.

For more information, visit UNN's profile on the Vi website.