Puleng Maphisa 22 November 2022

The Vaal University of Technology (VUT) recently had the honour of hosting the second Nanotechnology Group Trilateral Meeting, a forum that brings together leading nanotechnology scientists from South Africa, France, and Nigeria.

Delegates were welcomed by Dr. Simphiwe Nelana, VUT’s Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation, Commercialization, and Internationalization (RICI), who is also an integral member of the team, and supported by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Dan Kgwadi.

Members of the group present included: Prof SO Oluwafemi (Project Leader, University of Johannesburg), Prof SP Songca (DVC: Teaching and Learning, University of Kwazulu-Natal), Prof IO Adewale Dean of Science and Prof AA Saheed both from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, and Prof O Joubert (University of Lorraine, France). The meeting was also attended by VUT’s academics and officials from the Internationalisation Office.

Among other things, the purpose of the meeting was for members from the three countries to discuss strengthening areas of research collaboration and explore possible staff and student exchange programs between the participating universities.

Representatives from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, and the University of Lorraine, France, gave presentations on how things are done within their universities.

Prof IO Adewale, Professor of Biochemistry, and current Dean of the Faculty of Science (Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria), presented on Maximizing Potential in Scientific Collaboration Towards Building world-class, The Obafemi Awolowo University is known to be the best public university in Nigeria. It has five tourist centres: The zoological garden, Natural History Museum, the Botanical gardens, the Motion ground, and Wole Soyinka’s library. Prof Adewale said that their faculty has 5500 undergraduate, 1000 post-graduate ( and Ph.D.), and 250 academic staff, including 50 professors. He said that with the history of their collaboration, they have academic excellence, human capital development, interdisciplinary curriculum structure, lively and versatile student culture, and research output.

He further mentioned that the collaboration benefits would bring bright African scholars’ integration through exchange programs and exploring Africa’s resources through research.

Prof O Joubert, Associate Professor in Toxicology, said that they have 62 000 students, 250 facilities, over 7000 academics, and administrative staff and is the top university in France in terms of entrepreneurship.

The VUT acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Resource and Planning, Prof Raymond Mabuza, said that it is a great feeling to have visitors from outside who have one mind about Africa and make it stand on its own through research. “I am thrilled about the collaboration, and I wish you all well. Please let us take this thing to the next level, not just publishing papers but time to take our work to the next level, which is innovation and commercialization,” said Prof Mabuza.

VUT is supportive and looking forward to the continuation of the Nanotechnology Group Trilateral Collaboration and is keen to put its work up in the market.