Forum for Innovation in African Universities

2021 Speakers

Professor Agbor is a Distinguished Professor of African and Commonwealth Literature and the elected Commissioner (2017-2021) 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.

She was the Focal Point for Pan African University; the Conference of Ministers of Education in Africa (COMEDAF), the Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers and most of all UNESCO. She has headed different regional and international bodies including the Pan-African Institute for Development (IPED)/African Observatory for Education. She is the Vice Chair and Standing Committee member of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning. She is a graduate of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a Fulbright Scholar – In Residence, University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA.

Prof. Sarah A. Agbor

Matt Kuppers is an Independent Consultant specialising in Private Sector Development, Entrepreneurship training, and Start-up consulting. Matt’s career spans over 15 years and includes stints in venture capital, entrepreneurship, start-up investing, guest lecturing, and board-level engagements.

He serves as an Independent Expert to the European Commission in Brussels where he evaluates and monitors Horizon 2020 actions concerned with EU-wide Entrepreneurship Ecosystem development.

Matt also serves as an Executive Board Member with EIT Raw Material in Berlin where he chairs the Business Development Committee. Being a body of the European Union, the organisation is the world’s largest consortium in the raw materials and green tech sector. In 2013 he founded Startup Manufactory Ltd in London through which he and his team delivered numerous Private Sector Development projects.

Matt is also a passionate guest lecturer and conference speaker. Past speaking engagements include The Economist and Oxford University. Matt studied at the London School of Economics and is currently a Reserve Officer (Lieutenant OF-1a) in training with the German Armed Forces in order to pursue projects in military and defence innovation. In his leisure, Matt enjoys hiking and cooking.

Matt Kuppers

Ida Ngan’ga leads the award-winning Regional Consortium (of Experts) for the Development use of technology and engineering as an enabler for achieving the SDGs (RCD Africa); and is the Regional Representative, Anglophone Countries at UNESCO Emerging Technologies for Development, Steering Committee, which is based in Bordeaux, France. Ida is very active in the innovation ecosystem. She sits on a number of advisory boards such as Global President, Startup Innovation at the Global Council for International Trade; ATU’s Africa Innovation Challenge, and GPF’s Leap Innovation HUBS to name a few and has trained, mentored and judged in innovation competitions across the world including the $1 million HULT Prize. She is on the advisory committees for Government – AFRINIC; Digital Innovation Framework – International Telecommunication Union (ITU); New Africa Strategy – ICANN; and Online Safety & Security – Communications Authority of Kenya.

She is Co-Chair, of the Internet for Development Global Community. She is the former Chairman of, the Membership and Outreach Standing Committee for Kenya, for the Internet Society, the first woman to hold this position. She is a Tech for Good global partner and an Ambassador for Africa Code Week by SAP and UNESCO which has introduced over 8 million young learners to coding. She is committed to putting a spotlight on startup development, innovation, youth mentorship, technology transfer, gender inclusion, stakeholder engagement & intercontinental collaboration. Ida is one of the most awarded women change-makers on the continent and has received many accolades, such as IoT Innovation Award by the European Union, the Top 100 Global Women in Leadership Award, African Leadership Top Award ‘Outstanding Mentor’, Timeless Woman Governance Award, Africa Regional Internet Development Fellow, Prolific Woman by United Nations & Mara Foundation to name a few.

She is President of the Women in STEM Leaders Network; and an executive trainer in adaptive leadership, transformative change, intrapreneurship, artificial versus emotional intelligence and strategic resilience, for technology and socio-economic impact-driven organizations. She has trained and mentored many great innovators and helped in the digital transformation of larger organizations & higher learning institutions. Mentor Ida is a certified Carnegie leadership & management coach using the behavioural science & transformational change approach, a Master Class Facilitator at Strategia Centre Netherlands, as well as a much sought-after global speaker known for her oratory prowess.

Ida Ngan’ga

Professor 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).

Prof. Aderemi Atayero

Professor William Barnabas Qurix is an accomplished academic and University administrator, with over 30 years of teaching and research experience in the university system. He holds a Master of Science degree and a PhD in Architecture which he obtained in 1987 and 1997 respectively from Ahmadu Bello University.

In 2001, he obtained an M.A. degree in Law and Diplomacy from the University of Jos. Professionally, he is highly rated among his colleagues. Thus in 2003, he was elected to the Council of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, where he served up to 2007 and in 2010, he was appointed to the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria, representing Kaduna State. In 2012, he was inducted Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architects and in 2015, he was nominated for the Robert Mathew Prize of the Commonwealth Association of Architects as the Nigerian nominee, although the prize was eventually won by another Architect.

Professor Qurix has considerable experience in professorial practice as evidenced in the design of many buildings since 1988. He has an outstanding record of public service; in 2009, he was appointed Member of the Think Tank on Education in Kaduna State. In 2009 – 2011, he served as Chairman of, the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority. Between 2010 – 2011 he served as Honourable Commissioner of Works and Transport, and in 2012 – 2017; he was Vice–Chancellor, of Kaduna State University during which the University witnessed unquantifiable growth and development.

Professor Qurix has attended many Continuous Education programmes on Leadership, Change Management and Project Management in the UK, USA, France, Italy, Turkey, Israel, UAE, South Africa, Egypt, and Ethiopia. He has delivered several public lectures on a diverse topics such as Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Educational development. He is a visiting scholar at the Nigerian Defence Academy and an offshore thesis supervisor at the University of Wolverhampton.

Professor Qurix is a Fellow of many Institutions such as the Nigerian Institute of Architects, the Chartered Institute of Management Consultants and the Institute of Public Administration and Managers.

He is currently Vice-Chancellor of Bingham University Karu. Professor Qurix is a recipient of the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) since 2014.

Prof. William B. Qurix

Abel Idowu Olayinka – Professor Olayinka recently completed his tenure as the Vice-Chancellor, of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He had previously served the institution as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Dean of the Postgraduate School.

He is a great believer in strengthening the relationship between the government, the private sector and academia. He encouraged several Public Private Partnership initiatives during his stint as Vice-Chancellor. He has served on the Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA).

He was the Founding President of the West African Research and Innovation Management Association (WARIMA). He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science and a Fellow of the Geological Society of London. 

Prof. Abel Olayinka

Prof. Elizabeth Abenga is the Director of the Pan African University Institute of Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences (PAUGHSS), in Cameroon. A continental University institute established by African Union for Africa. Previously, she worked at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in the Department of Curriculum and instructional technology, was also the founding director of International Relations and Academic Linkages and one-time acting Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs.

Elizabeth is an experienced educationist and expert trainer in higher education management and internationalization through DIES programmes. She has published widely in these fields and has been instrumental in the establishment of strategic and sustainable partnerships that also enhanced the university’s entrepreneurial portfolio. With a PhD in Educational Communication Technology (EdTech) and a Master’s in Curriculum Development, fields in which she draws her expertise and is also an expert in higher education internationalization and partnership management.

Prof. Elizabeth Abenga

Abdellatif Zerga currently works at the PAUWES, Pan African University. Abdellatif does research in Renewable Energy and Materials Science.

His most recent publication is ‘Impact of the size of silver nanoparticle integrated into an ARC based on silicon’ where he tried to assess the theoretical limit of the nanocrystal’s contribution to improving the efficiency of silicon solar cells.

He conducted other research works in the frame of third-generation solar cells.

Prof. Abdellatif Zerga

Professor Ndy Ekere is a Professor of Manufacturing Engineering and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering and Technology.

Prior to joining Liverpool John Moores University in August 2021, he served as Professor and Dean, of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Wolverhampton. He graduated with First Class Honours in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka received an MSc in Flexible Manufacturing and Robotics from Loughborough University and a PhD in Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Manchester (UMIST). He has previously held positions as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with UMIST, a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer and Professor with the University of Salford, Dean of the School of Engineering with the University of Greenwich and Dean of the School of Technology at the University of Wolverhampton.

Professor Ekere’s expertise is in electronics interconnection and reliability engineering and renewable energy (solar PV module interconnections and LED packaging). The focus of his recent work is to identify, explore and develop suitable assembly and packaging technologies, both to meet the challenges of miniaturisation facing the electronics industry and to support the virtual development of new and low-cost electronic products.

His research grants include sixteen UK EPSRC, European Union, and industry-funded projects in which he led several national and international research programmes (ReACTIVE Too, SETechTra and 3DPRINT). Professor Ekere has published over 170 papers, successfully supervised sixteen PhDs and mentored seven Postdocs.

Prof. Ndy Ekere