Cambridge University Press (CUP) has opened its newest office in Lagos, Nigeria, publishing locally produced, affordable education materials for the Nigerian curriculum.
CUP previously had a "major" presence in Nigeria following the country’s independence in the 1960s but had to withdraw during the civil war. Its endorsed material for Cambridge International Exams continued to be available throughout this time, but now the press is expanding its offering with local curriculum material for all Nigerian schools.
All CUP teaching and learning materials for the Nigerian educational market will be produced locally, and will be widely available at affordable costs.
In order to ready the Nigeria operation for launch the press has published 111 books covering Primary 1 to senior Secondary 3 in English, Mathematics and the Sciences. The "accessible, affordable, high-quality" content has been developed by a team of Nigerian and international experts in accordance with the Nigerian Educational and Research Development Council Curriculum and Schemes of Work.
The launch was celebrated at Lagos’s Oriental Hotel alongside many guests of honour including chief executive of Cambridge University Press, Peter Phillips; executive secretary of the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, Professor Ismail Junaido; former Federal Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwezilli; and local primary school children from the University of Lagos Women’s Society School, who gave a poetry recital.
Phillips said: "Our aim is to give every primary school pupil and every secondary student in Nigeria the opportunity to share in, and benefit from the pedagogical standards and commitment to excellence which Cambridge University and its Press has had for many centuries."
He also spoke about the press’s legacy of Nigerian publishing: "We have published many academic books with Nigerian authors", Phillips said. "I'm particularly proud that we published two of Nigeria's finest twentieth century authors: Wole Soyinka, Africa's first winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and Chinua Achebe, author of the most widely read book in modern African literature, Things Fall Apart."
Rod Smith, managing director for Education at CUP, added: "Cambridge has decades of experience supporting ministries of education all over the world with training and quality control for the development of their own learning and assessment materials which is why we are so confident that through working collaboratively with ministers, educators, teachers and students alike, we can make a positive impact."
Lawrence Aladesuyi, CUP country manager in Nigeria, meanwhile, added: "The aim of this programme is to give every learner in Nigeria the opportunity to share in and benefit from the gold-standard tradition and contemporary relevance of the University of Cambridge".