OREANDA-NEWS. June 5, 2012. Renaissance Group, the leading emerging markets Group of investment banking, asset management, consumer and real estate companies, has launched its pilot Chess-in-Schools Programme in Lagos, Nigeria.

The programme has been designed to promote the positive effects of chess in Nigerian schools – among them increased mental stimulation and improved critical thinking among students, the development of individual talents and the creation of a basis for longer-term educational benefits.

The programme is being piloted at 10 schools in Lagos: Green Meadows School, Ikeja; The Dew School, Yaba; Home Science Association Primary School, Ikoyi; NEPA Staff School, Ikorodu; Chrisland School, Opebi; Toydam School, Gbagada; Lagos Preparatory School, Ikoyi; Tots Ville School, Ikeja; Day by Day School, Surulere; and University of Lagos Staff School, Akoka.

At the programme’s official launch, hosted by Renaissance Group today in Lagos, Nigerian national chess champion, International Master Bunmi Olape; Renaissance Capital CEO for West Africa, Yvonne Ike; Representative of the Lagos State Ministry of Education Mrs. Mercy Olaoye; and Dr. Sylvan Ebigwei, former President and first Chairman of the Nigeria Chess Federation under the Ministry of Sports of Nigeria, donated 100 chess sets to participating schools. Students in attendance were also given an opportunity to play a game of chess with Bunmi Olape.

Commenting on the project, Yvonne Ike said, “We are proud to launch the Chess-in-Schools programme, which we believe is critical to the developmental needs of the students, enabling them to engage their analytical thinking and ultimately equipping them with requisite life skills when introduced in the early stage of their lives. Renaissance is committed to developing this intellect-stimulating game in Nigeria helping unlock the country’s vast potential, including on the global intellectual sports arena.” She added, “We would like to thank the participating schools and programme partners for joining us at the forefront of promoting this exciting initiative.”

Mrs. Joyce Oboh, Head Teacher of Green Meadows School, said, “Green Meadows School is absolutely delighted to have been chosen to participate in the Renaissance’s Chess-in-Schools Programme. We thank Renaissance Group for this unique intervention and the opportunity to further develop the cognitive capacities of our pupils through chess.”