Covenant Vice-Chancellor Elected on the Governing Board of Association of African Universities
Africa’s foremost private university, Covenant, and her Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abiodun H. Adebayo, have been hauled to the upper reaches of history courtesy of Professor Adebayo’s election to the Governing Board of the Association of African Universities.
The Association of African Universities (AAU) is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization created by African Universities to promote cooperation among them on the one hand, and between them and the international academic community on the other. Created in 1967, the AAU is the voice of higher education in Africa. AAU aims to improve the quality of African higher education and strengthen its contribution to Africa’s development by supporting the core functions of higher education institutions (HEIs) and facilitating critical reflection and consensus-building on issues affecting higher education. It is headquartered in Accra, Ghana, and has a membership of more than 400 HEIs.
The Association is the technical implementing arm of the African Union in higher education – with coverage and mandate across the language divide of Africa. The AAU is the coordinating agency of the Higher Education Cluster of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25) of the African Union Commission (AUC).
Interestingly, Professor Adebayo, who was elected on the governing board to represent the West African Region of AAU, is one of the three Nigerian university dons elected to the AAU Board. The others are Professor Lilian Imuetinyan Salami, Vice-Chancellor, University of Benin, elected as one of the Vice-Presidents, and Professor Smaranda Olarinde, the Vice-Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ede, Ekiti State was elected as Board Member also representing the West African Region.
While commenting about the development, Professor Adebayo gave glory to God and appreciated the Chancellor and Chairman, Board of Regents, Covenant University, Dr. David O. Oyedepo, for instituting the Covenant platform. “The Chancellor is a passionate driver of excellence, and it is because of what Covenant University’s vision stands for, raising a new generation of leaders, that inspired me to take up this responsibility,” he said.
In his statement of plan, Professor Adebayo said that, by the grace of God, the election of new members into the board would further propel the Association to see how more African universities would be listed as world-class universities. He said that his primary goal was to ensure that more African universities become leading universities globally.
“At the moment, not many African universities are listed in AAU. We are going to mobilize other African universities to be part of this Association while we build the kind of Africa we want.”
“We are going to project the values of AAU, which aligns with the vision and mission of Covenant University. We will also project the African heritage; it doesn’t have to be white to be right; African universities have what it takes to be among the leading universities in the world,” Professor Adebayo averred.
He said that the new governing board would be driving excellence in research, teaching, and community service among African universities, which forms the ideal of a university. It is hoped that the drive will project African universities in the global rankings of world-class universities and have them listed in reputable ranking bodies like the Times Higher Education and QS World University Rankings.
Appointed Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University in November 2020, Professor Adebayo specialized in Plant Biochemistry and has been actively involved in the sustainable use of indigenous medicinal plants in collaboration with some local and international industries.
Professor Adebayo’s biography is listed and published in the 30th edition of Marquis Who’s Who in the World in the United States. He is a member of some national and international learned societies. He had served in different University Committees and Boards at different times.
Professor Adebayo rose through the academic ranks to become a full Professor of Biochemistry. He was appointed the Sub-Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies for two years. He was subsequently appointed as the Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies, which he held until he was appointed Vice-Chancellor.
He is a fellow of the Nigerian Young Academy (NYA) and a Sectional Editor of Annals of Science and Technology, the Academy’s official journal.
He is a member of the accreditation panel of the National Universities Commission (NUC), where he visited and accredited Biochemistry programme in some Private, State, and Federal Universities in Nigeria. He is also on the NUC Resource Verification Team for Postgraduate Programme in Biochemistry. He has supervised and graduated bachelor, masters, and doctoral students in Biochemistry. He had participated in the assessment of faculty members into Professorial Chair as an external assessor to some universities.