Delaware State launches internship program with GE in Nigeria
Delaware State University has forged a new partnership with GE in Nigeria.
Officials signed the agreement Wednesday. It'll let them send students to the West African nation for internships in engineering, manufacturing and business fields, and set up other exchanges.
The collaboration comes as the result of work by a DSU alumna, Pamela Jackson Hall. She went to work for GE in Nigeria after earning physics and engineering degrees, and says she saw an opportunity:
"What we're doing is because there's a real need. It's not because I'm an alum, it's not because this university is a great university," she said. "It's because there is an expertise that exists at Delaware State, and there is a need in some of the projects that are in West Africa. And if we can create a synergy, a partnership, to execute that, then why not?"
The African continent was GE's first home base away from the U.S. after its founding. Lazarus Angbazo is the company's president in Nigeria, and he says their work in Africa has always been about improving infrastructure and health care, and bringing markets home.
"Obviously, we are trying to localize our manufacturing capabilities, we are doing that in several countries," Angbazo says. "We're trying to localize our supply chain, and then of course, the job creation that the region requires, and the development of the capacity and the training that we need to provide."
That supply chain includes knowledge partners, he says -- now including DSU, the first major American university to partner with GE Nigeria. Angbazo says they're particularly interested in working with historically black colleges.
The company is paying for the first DSU student to travel to Nigeria for an internship this summer, with more slated to start going next school year.
DSU has many international students from Africa, some of whom were present at Wednesday's ceremony to kick off the new Nigeria program. They also partner with other countries around the world.