Dr. Chika Ezeanya Esiobu

“Deconstructing and Reconstructing the African’s Mindset: Strategies, Platforms and Projected Impact.”

Dr. Chika Ezeanya Esiobu holds a Ph.D. in African Studies from Howard University in Washington D.C. Dr Ezeanya Esiobu’s intellectual work is centrally located within the conviction that Africa’s indigenous knowledge is key to the continent’s advancement.

Dr Ezeanya Esiobu has been invited to present her ideas across cultures, countries, institutions and platforms, including Yale University, London School of Economics, United Nations, African Union, Social Science Research Council, Standard Bank South Africa, Project Management Institute of Africa, to mention few. Dr Ezeanya Esiobu has worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the International Development Research Center (IDRC) Canada, the United Nations, the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), and the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).

In 2019, Dr Ezeanya Esiobu was recognized as an influential person of African descent under 40. She is the author of Indigenous Knowledge and Education in Africa (Springer: 2019), in addition to numerous academic articles, book chapters and essays on Africa’s advancement. Dr Ezeanya Esiobu is the founder of African Child Press and is currently a visiting honorary professor with the University of Rwanda.


Prof. Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni

The Cognitive Empire in Africa: Knowledge, Consciousness, and Epistemic Freedom

Currently Full Professor and Chair of Epistemologies of the Global South with Emphasis on Africa at the University of Bayreuth in Germany.

Previously, Prof. Ndlovu-Gatsheni worked as Research Professor and Director of Scholarship at the Department of Leadership and Transformation at the University of South Africa (UNISA). He previously worked as Acting Executive Director of Change Management Unit in the Vice-Chancellor’s Office at the University of South Africa.

He is also the founder of the Africa Decolonial Research Network (ADERN) based at the University of South Africa. In 2007, he was a Visiting Fellow at the African Studies Centre in Leiden, the Netherlands.

Professor Ndlovu-Gatsheni has over a hundred publications to his name. Among his key works on decolonialization are: Empire, Global Coloniality and African Subjectivity (New York & Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2013); Decolonizing the University, Knowledge Systems and Disciplines (North Carolina, Carolina Academic Press, 2016) co-edited with Siphamandla Zondi; and Epistemic Freedom in Africa: Deprovincialization and Decolonization (London & New York: Routledge, 2018). His latest publication is Decolonization, Development and Knowledge in Africa: Turning Over A New Leaf (Routledge, 2020).

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Prof. Erika Kraemer Mbula

Harnessing home-grown innovations for transformative change in Africa

College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg

Professor of Economics and Chairholder of the DST/NRF/Newton Fund Trilateral Chair in Transformative Innovation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Development, at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Her work focuses on alternative development paths for African economies. She specialises in the analysis of innovation systems in connection to equitable development and inclusive development, and has done pioneering work on innovation in the informal sector. Trained as an Economist, she holds a Masters in Science and Technology Policy by the Science and Policy Research Unit (University of Sussex), and a doctorate in Development Studies from the University of Oxford. Her latest book: Kraemer-Mbula et. al. (2020). Transforming Research Excellence: New Ideas from the Global South. African Minds.

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Freddy Weima

Director-General of Nuffic

Freddy Weima (1971) is Director-General of Nuffic, the Dutch organisation for internationalisation and international cooperation in education. He took up this position in 2012.

Nuffic works from primary and secondary education to vocational and higher education and research. Together with national and international partners, Nuffic strives to promote the development of pupils and students, as well as the growth of teachers, professionals and organisations. Among many other tasks, Nuffic supports Erasmus Plus, the big European education programme; Orange Knowledge, a capacity building programme commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Study in Holland campaign; diploma recognition and bilingual education in primary, secondary and vocational education. Apart from the headquarters in The Hague, Nuffic is responsible for eleven offices all over the world in countries like China, Indonesia and South Africa.

Before Nuffic, Freddy worked at the Labour Market unit of CAOP – the knowledge and services centre for labour issues in the public domain. Freddy studied political science at the University of Amsterdam and the San Francisco State University. He started his career as a political science lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, after which he joined the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Later on, he also worked at the ministries of Social Affairs and Justice.


Dr. Mustapha Mekideche

Inclusive sustainable development in Africa: what breakthrough strategies and what new approaches are needed?

Ex vice-président et membre fondateur du Conseil National Economique et Social (CNES) d’Algérie/ Former vice-president and founding member of the National Economic and Social Council (CNES) of Algeria.

Mustapha MEKIDECHE est licencié en mathématiques de l’Université d’Alger et docteur en économie de l’Université de Grenoble 2. Il a été membre puis Président de 2012 à 2017 du Panel du Mécanisme africain d’évaluation par les pairs (MAEP) auprès de l’Union Africaine (UA). Il a effectué sa carrière dans le secteur des hydrocarbures comme directeur des zones industrielles de Skikda et d’Arzew pour la Sonatrach puis comme conseiller du ministre de l’énergie et enfin comme fondateur et directeur général de l’entreprise nationale d’engineering pétrolier (ENEP). A ce titre il a été membre fondateur et Vice President de l’UNEP. Il a exercé depuis 1998, comme consultant indépendant dans les secteurs de l’industrie . Il est actuellement Président du Business Club Algeria-Japan.

Mustapha Mekideche holds a degree in mathematics from the University of Algiers and a doctorate in economics from the University of Grenoble 2. He was a member and then Chairman from 2012 to 2017 of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Panel at the African Union (AU). He carried out his career in the hydrocarbons sector as director of the industrial zones of Skikda and Arzew for Sonatrach then as advisor to the Minister of Energy and finally as founder and general manager of the national company of petroleum engineering (ENEP). In this capacity he was a founding member and Vice President of UNEP. He has worked since 1998 as an independent consultant in industrial sectors. He is currently President of the Algeria-Japan Business Club.


Prof Etienne Ehouan Ehile

“The Association of African Universities: reflections on decolonizing minds”

Le professeur Etienne EHILE est le secrétaire général de l’Association des universités africaines/ Professor Etienne EHILE is the Secretary General of the Association of African Universities.

Le professeur Etienne EHILE est ivoirien et un physiologiste renommé. Il est diplômé de la Faculté des Sciences de l’Université d’Abidjan en 1974, où il a obtenu son diplôme de Maitrise. Il rejoint ensuite l’Université d’Aix Marseille III (France) et obtient son Doctorat en Neurophysiologie avec mention en 1978. Ses travaux de recherche sont menés au Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France.
Il est l’ancien Directeur de Cabinet du Ministère de la Santé et de l’Hygiène Publique de Côte d’Ivoire et ancien Président de l’Université Nangui Abrogoua, Côte d’Ivoire, où il a passé deux mandats de 4 ans chacun (2001-2010), avant d’occuper ses fonctions de secrétaire général de l’Association des universités africaines (AUA) en août 2011. Le professeur EHILE n’est pas nouveau à l’AUA car il est membre actif du conseil d’administration de l’AUA depuis 2005.
Le professeur EHILE a publié plus de 50 articles scientifiques dans diverses revues scientifiques régionales et internationales de 1978 à 2019. De 1992 à ce jour, le professeur EHILE a occupé de nombreux postes de direction et d’administration.

Prof Etienne Ehouan Ehile is an Ivorian and a renowned physiologist. He graduated from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Abidjan in 1974, where he obtained his Master’s degree. He then joined the University of Aix Marseille III (France) and obtained his Doctorate in Neurophysiology with honors in 1978. His research work was carried out at the Neurophysiology Laboratory of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), France.
He is the former Director of Cabinet of the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene of Côte d’Ivoire and former President of Nangui Abrogoua University, Côte d’Ivoire, where he spent two terms of 4 years each ( 2001-2010), before assuming his duties as Secretary General of the Association of African Universities (AAU) in August 2011. Professor Ehile is not new to the AAU because he was an active member of the board of directors of the AAU since 2005.
Professor Ehile has published over 50 scientific articles in various regional and international scientific journals from 1978 to 2019. From 1992 to date, Professor Ehile has held numerous management and administrative positions.