By Victor Asije
Cotonou – The President of the Houdegbe North American
University jn the Republic of Benin, Prof. Dada Houdegbe, on Saturday
announced that about 90 per cent of its students were Nigerians.
Houdegbe made the remark at the University’s award of Degrees and conferment of Honorary Awards to its graduating students and other local and international personalities.
“Three years ago, we graduated about 3,000 students from different areas of studies.
“Today, the Houdegbe North American University is graduating about
2,000 students, as well as the conferment of Honorary Doctorate Degrees
on deserving personalities.
“Let me say that about 90 per cent of students in our university are
Nigerians, who are happy being our students,’’ he said.
According to him, there is currently a growing interest of many young
Nigerians in the courses being offered by the university, its
affordability and good learning environment.
The president said that the university was meant to build bridges
across political, economic, linguistic and cultural divides in West
Africa, in particular, and Africa, in general.
Houdegbe commended former president Olusegun Obasanjo for his belief
in the institution’s ideals, as well as the encouragement he had
continued to give to the university.
Ms Samia Nkrumah, Founder of the Kwame Nkrumah Pan-African Centre, said
that the time had come for West African and other African countries to
embrace the policy of “Education for All’’.
The daughter of former Ghanaian President Kwame Nkurumah, said that the
overall development and transformation of the region and the continent
would largely depend on education.
“We must be more committed in encouraging and promoting educational
exchanges between West African countries and other African countries.
“We must realise as Africans that we currently have a very
fast-growing young population that should be given qualitative
“We need to ensure that we actually prepare our young population to be
more productive. We, therefore, need to encourage our young men and
women to freely acquire education in any university of their choice,
across West Africa and Africa in general,’’ she said.
Prof. Peng-Khuan Chong, an Emeritus Professor of Political Science,
Plymouth State University, in the United States, enjoined the graduating and
undergraduate students to learn to be competent, confident and have
“Young men and women in the Republic of Benin, Nigeria and other African
countries, should learn to be competent, be confident and have
“And then, they must be courageously strong, innocently hopeful, and
most importantly, be forever hopeful,’’ he said.
A Nigerian undergraduate at the university, Linus Richard, said that he
and many other Nigerian students were happy to have had the opportunity
to study at the institution.
Richard said that the institution’s admission process was devoid of
the problems associated with writing a qualifying examination, it’s academic calendar hitch-free, with affordable fees,
as well as a conducive study environment.
The university was established in 1992 in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, as a private tertiary institution, which offers both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.