The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is by far one of Nigeria and Africa's incredibly reputable tertiary institutions. This prestigious citadel of learning is located in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State, South West Nigeria where the individuals of the Yoruba tribe from across the world reverently regard as their ancestral home. Therefore by historical antecedents, one can describe the institution as a symbol of culture and heritage for natives of the city, and many others from far and wide who come to the institution in search of knowledge.

Aerial view of OAU campus area

The institution OAU is a state property held in trust for the people of Nigeria by its federal government. It was founded in 1961, even though academic activities began a year later. It was first called the "University of Ife" in October 1962 while it was still under the administrative purview of the western regional government of Nigeria led by Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola. It was renamed "Obafemi Awolowo University" on 12 May 1987 in honour of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the first premier of the western region of Nigeria, whose idea the university was.

On 22 September 1962, the university was opened to 244 students at its temporary facilities, the previous college of arts and sciences, Ibadan. Some of the new students were previously at the college of arts and sciences, and some staff were recruited from University College, Ibadan, and from abroad.

OAU gate 

The university's move to the new campus at Ile-Ife began in January 1967. The campus at Ife had the first faculty of pharmacy in West Africa, the first department of chemical engineering, and the first faculty of electronics components and electrical engineering. In 1975, the military government of the day enacted a decree that made the "University of Ife" a federal university.

Beautiful Greens - OAU campus area

The university is currently made up of 13 faculties and two colleges - the Postgraduate college and the College of Health Sciences - which are administered in more than 60 departments. The university offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the field of specializations spanning the humanities, arts, natural sciences, social sciences, medical sciences, engineering and technology.

Faculty of Education, OAU

As a significant institution in the city of Ife, the OAU's medical and healthcare centre provides primary health care services to nearby communities, for children and adults. It operates a 24 hour service provision, with the support of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals where extreme cases are referred. The OAU teaching hospital is consistently cited as a reputable medical facility based on its numerous records. It was reported on March 27 2014 that the first Siamese twins to be separated in sub Saharan Africa was carried out at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital.

OAU Teaching Hospital Complex

The Students' Union of OAU has a pedigree of vibrancy having been involved in numerous socio-political activities and civil disobedience when military dictatorship held sway in Nigeria. Students regard the institution as "Great Ife'' and the school anthem which is often sung during student gatherings and alumni functions extols their darling OAU as the institution with "Africa's most beautiful campus".

The institution boasts of a high profile personality alumni network made up of very eminent members in the Nigerian society from all walks of life. Most notable amongst members of the alumni are Dr. Akinwumi Adesina - the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi - co-founder African Women's Development Fund (AWDF), Gen. Lucky Irabor - Chief of Defence Staff of Nigeria, Mr. Dele Momodu - Nigerian Journalist and CEO of Ovation International Magazine, Femi Otedola - Nigerian business mogul and billionaire, Bisade Ologunde pka Lagbaja - musician, Seun Osewa - founder of Nairaland etc. just to name a few.

OAU alumni, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina - AfDB President

Nobel Laureate prize winner Pa. Wole Soyinka who served as Professor of Comparative Literature in the faculty of Arts between 1975-1999 was conferred the title of "Professor Emeritus" by the governing council of the institution in 1999. His official residence while he was still an erudite in OAU was converted into a museum in 2018.

Wole Soyinka Museum

At Power of Africa, we believe that quality education is of vital importance to the development of our continent. This is so because no nation can develop or grow beyond the consciousness of the citizenry who make up the leadership and followership of that nation. This is why we use our platform to espouse some of our continent's educational landmark to signify the importance of quality education in our strides towards building a New Africa.