Turkey’s Lola Group pours US$33m into SDD-UBIDS


By Rafiq Nungor ADAM

Lola Group, an international investment platform based in Turkey, has partnered with the College for Community and Organsational Development (CCOD) to fund Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS).

The support aims to address infrastructure deficits by approving US$33million for constructing new faculties, supporting research and providing hostels on campus through non-recourse and public private partnership (PPP) funding arrangements.

A  Lola Group delegation, led by Vivian Fray Tarrece, visited the university and met with Vice-Chancellor Prof. Emmanuel K. Derbile and management over the weekend. During their visit, the team engaged with university management and faculty heads to discuss the way forward.

In his welcome address, Prof. Emmanuel K. Derbile highlighted the university’s critical infrastructure needs. “As you drive in, you will notice that this is a university with land but limited infrastructure,” he said. “Currently, we have nearly 11,000 students, 10 faculties/schools and various directorates. Despite our great potential for growth and transformation, our biggest challenge remains a lack of infrastructure.”

Prof. Derbile explained that due to these challenges, the university initiated discussions with Dr. Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu – West Africa representative of Lola Group in Ghana and President of CCOD. These talks led to the university’s application for various infrastructure projects, resulting in the current partnership.

Expressing his gratitude, Prof. Derbile thanked Lola Group for approving the funds and awarding the university two grants for various projects. He expressed hope that this partnership will significantly improve the university’s infrastructure, provide adequate hostel accommodation for students and enhance the faculties and schools.

Vivian Fray Tarrece, leading the delegation to Ghana, noted the university’s vast potential – emphasising the impressive land available and dynamic leadership of young academics. He expressed optimism that these young professors and doctors will significantly impact Ghana’s youth, preparing them to become future leaders in academia.

Fray also mentioned plans to facilitate exchange programmes, allowing students from South Africa, Turkey, USA, Canada and other countries where Lola Group has offices to study at SDD-UBIDS or for mutual benefits. “We are committed to making this partnership fruitful and ensuring that students from various regions, including South Africa, can benefit from studying here,” he said.

The Lola Group delegation later met with a larger group from various districts in the Upper West, Catholic institutions, NGOs, Diebougou Diocese in Burkina Faso and UBIDS communities, which are also set to benefit from the approved projects.

The visit concluded with a tour of proposed development sites, allowing the Lola Group team to familiarise themselves with the university’s plans. Members of the delegation included Ms. Channel Mpoyi (Lola Group Regional Liaison Director, France) and Mylove Innana Luvunga (Vice president, Lola Group, DRC).

Leave a Reply