Forum for Innovation in African Universities

About us

Our Mission: Forum for Innovation in African Universities (FIAU) is the foremost knowledge exchange platform for University-Industry Partnerships in Africa. FIAU attracts and engages leaders of universities, businesses, government agencies and the third sector to influence and shape higher education agendas in Africa.

The FIAU is a global forum for intellectual debate, knowledge exchange and networking. Established in 2021 in response to the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on Africa’s higher education sector, it is a fully independent not-for-profit platform with no ties to any political ideology or interest group.

Although Africa defied global predictions of a higher prevalence of COVID-19-related mortality, it however bears the brunt of the socio-economic impact of the disease. COVID-19 has undone several decades of social and economic progress and left lasting scars in every sector across the region. Unlike in other parts of the world, weak technological infrastructures forced most African universities to cut off millions of students from accessing learning at a crucial stage in their life development. Even before COVID-19, there have been serious questions about the quality, funding, and employability of African graduates. Many graduates languish in dead-end informal jobs from which there seems no escape. The negative impacts of these challenges and the human capital loss to Africa may never be fully known.

But we believe that by addressing capacity gaps, including strengthening governance and technological systems, African universities can bounce back by integrating technology into learning. Inspired by this belief and our firm understanding that these challenges can be reversed, we founded the Forum for Innovation in African Universities

At the heart of our mission is working closely with highly reputable global and regional partners to pull resources to support African universities to innovate, raise standards and improve their graduates’ employability. Our primary aim is to create opportunities that enable African universities to build more resilient and accessible learning infrastructures using the power of technology and innovation.

Much has changed in Africa following the Dakar 2015 Summit on Higher Education. There has been a concrete move towards establishing a harmonised African Credit Transfer System (ACTS). The issue of accessibility is getting a serious attention through the emergence of a new era of innovative universities with a focus on entrepreneurship and graduate employability. There is also an unrelenting commitment towards raising quality through curricula review.

Meanwhile, about 25% of estimated 12 million graduates from African universities obtain formal jobs every year. The rest are either unemployed or underemployed. To compound matters, many graduates struggle to compete with their global counterparts in a rapidly changing world in which technological advances are disrupting our lives in unpredictably complex ways. Across these challenges, the most damaging is the gap between labour market needs and the skills attained by graduates. 

With these challenges, it is easy to be pessimistic about the state of Africa’s higher education. Yet, in many ways, there have been remarkable achievements in the sector that one can be proud of. But inequality in access, low enrolment rate and graduate skills gaps continue to cast a shadow over the sector. Each of these challenges and related consequences require a new set of impetus. One with the dynamism and capacity to bring together people who have the power to push forward ideas, build trust, and mobilize resources to drive a bold vision of innovation and change.

As an independent not-for-profit pan-African initiative for accelerating higher education innovation through University-Industry partnerships, the FIAU provides a motivating platform for all higher education stakeholders – academia, business, government, and the third sector – to come together to tackle these challenges.


Paschal Anosike (PhD, SFHEA FRSA)


Paschal’s priority is to eliminate capacity issues facing Africa’s higher education sector. He holds joint professorships in knowledge exchange and entrepreneurship at UK and Nigerian universities and has worked with over 30 organisations to develop their innovation and start-up ecosystems. He has consulted for and advised the African Union, the EU, GIZ and UNDP. He currently advises the London-based global think-tank – The Legatum Institute (LI) and was among the pioneers of the publication of the Africa Prosperity Index (API) report launched in 2019 at the World Economic Forum. In 2020, he was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts. Paschal is published in top-tier scientific journals. His latest work: Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development in Africa won the 2022 Sage Social Justice Global Book Award.

Klaus Schneider (MBA, StB)


Klaus is the Executive Partner of Schneider & Schäffer, a tax consulting company based in Bavaria, Germany that works with all sizes of private companies and wealthy individuals. The consulting services aim to optimize financial and fiscal issues leading to success. Experienced financial consultant and strategic business adviser and founder, Klaus have consulted more than a thousand companies from entrepreneurial start-ups to publicly listed multinational groups of companies. He founded and co-founded more than twenty business organisations in various industries like real estate, construction, sales services, renewable energy and the IT sector.

Advisory Board

Her Excellency, Prof. Sarah Agbor

African Union Commissioner, 2017-2022. (Guest of Honour)

Sir Joseph Ntung Ari (KSM)

DG/CEO, Industrial Training Fund, Nigeria.

Professor Pervaiz Ahmed

Director, Institute of Global Strategy and Competitiveness, Sunway University, Malaysia.

Professor Peter Okebukola (OFR)

Director, UNESCO IACIU, Abuja. (Moderator)

Elder Urum Kalu Eke

 Group MD, First Bank of Nigeria Holdings, Lagos, Nigeria (2016-2021)

Professor Aderemi Atayero

5th Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Nigeria

Local Organising Committee

Dr Frank Uchegbu

Project Manager

Dr Mike Omeri

LOC Chairman – Nigeria

Professor Agbor is a Distinguished Professor of African and Commonwealth Literature and the elected Commissioner (2017-2022) Department for Education, Science and Technology and Innovation (ESTI) of the African Union (AU) and former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, of Research and External Cooperation with the Business World (DVC-RCB) at the University of Bamenda, Cameroon.

She is currently the AU Global Consultant at Policy Renaissance and the Board Chair, at Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), Nairobi, Kenya. She has served as the Inspector of Academic Affairs No.1 at the Ministry of Higher Education Cameroon with strategic responsibility for the evaluation and monitoring of Higher Education Institutions in Cameroon.

Urum Kalu Eke, a graduate of Political Science, University of Lagos, is a seasoned banker with over 30 years of work experience in the financial services industry. Before his appointment as Group Managing Director of FBN Holdings Plc in 2016, he served as the Executive Director, Public Sector South for First Bank of Nigeria Plc. He was on the Board of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and served as the Chairman of the Externally Managed Investments Committee.

He is a fellow of reputable professional institutes such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria; the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria; the Institute of Directors and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, alluding to his illustrious experience and capacity in corporate governance.

Aderemi Atayero is a professor of Communication Engineering. He served as the 5th Vice Chancellor of Covenant University, Ota. He is recognised for contemporary multidisciplinary academic research with a special focus on wireless/mobile communications. Engineer Atayero is a Fellow of various professional associations, as well as a COREN Registered Engineer. He is on the editorial board of several international scientific and engineering Journals. Atayero is a WACREN Ambassador for Nigeria and a member of the TETFund Research and Development Standing Committee (RDSC).

Frank is a project manager, a Risk Analyst, a Project Management Coach, and a technical expert on engineering health and safety. He started his career as a Dr. of Optometry turned Project Manager. He has always been passionate about improving how companies manage work, deliver great products & services, & better serve their customers. He currently works as a Project Manager at BIM Projects.

He is a front-end web developer, coach, project planner, earned value analyst, team leader, and Monte Carlo/Latin hypercube simulator (for project risk management) expert. A public health expert with a special interest in executing projects in NGOs that oversaw over 10,000 eye surgeries. Over the years, he led several successful enterprise software implementation projects. 

He holds several professional certifications including Project Management Professional PMP®, Agile Certified Practitioner PMI-ACP®, Project Risk Management PMI-RMP®, Scrum Master Certified, NEBOSH, Six Sigma Yellow Belt, and Lean Production from the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

Dr Mike Omeri is a thought leader and top management public and private executive.

Impact: Established key relationships with diverse industry stakeholders across sectors leading to brand awareness and customer loyalty @Timbuktoo Services Limited, Abuja; implemented a successful business strategy for operational efficiency and cost savings @Rockstorm Nigeria; Community mobilisation, education and organisation through Strategic Communication @NOA, Nigeria.

Education: Ph.D. International Studies, Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, Kaduna State- (2017), M.A. Law and Diplomacy, University of Jos, (1996), B.A. Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri (1988).