The University of Oxford will next month inaugurate an International Advisory Board for its African Studies Centre (ASC) as it seeks stronger collaboration with African governance and leadership institutions, business and finance, diplomacy and arts in the University’s mission of encouraging greater diversity.

The nine-member Board, the University says, are of ‘distinguished individuals who occupy positions of consequence’and will help with policy including potentialfellowship and grants to enable brilliant Africansto study with like- minds and forty percent of whom are from the rest of the world. It will also seek engagement in faculty exchange programmeswith public policy experts and specialists on Africa as the ASC builds on its already huge influence.

The inauguration at St. Antony’s College (of the University) will aslo be addressed by the Law Professor and Vice-President of Nigeria, HE Yemi Osinbajo  as black in-take in the over a1,000- year old University is still low. Admission in respect of this was described in 2011 by its alumnus former Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron as ‘disgraceful.’

Listed byThe Time Higher Education Global Ranking as the best in the world, the triple- A Universityraised last year, seven hundred and fifty million pounds in a three-billionover-subscribed capital marketaccessfor expansion of programmes and projects. Its Vice- Chancellor, Prof. Louise Richardson has saidthat the University contributes7.1 billion pounds annually to the global economy 5.8 billion of itin the UK alone.

The International Advisory Boardis headed by the South African economist and former Governor of the country’s Reserve Bank, Mr. Tito Mboweni who also served in the first cabinet of Nelson Mandela as Minister of Labour and currently an advisor to Goldman Sachs International.

Other members include, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, former UN Under-Secretary for Political Affairs and previously, Nigeria’s External Affairs Minister. He was most recently the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Zambia.;  Mr. Ivor Agyeman-Duah, Ghanaian economic development specialist, literary anthologist of fiction and non-fiction works, currently Visiting Scholar at the University of Johannesburg and also Chair of the Advisory Council of the Heritage and Cultural Society of Africa; Mr. Alex Duncan, the British Director of Policy Practice and consulting economist at one-time with the UN-FAO, the World Bank and Oxford Policy Management.

There are also, Dr. Charlotte Harland-Scott, the British-born former First Lady of Zambia, an alumnus of Oxford who once served as Chief of Social Policy and Economic Analysis for UNICEF; Mr. Gareth Ackerman, Chairman of Pick’ n Pay the second largest multi-billion-dollar supermarket in South Africa with chains in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland and founded in 1967; Madam Monica Geingos, Lawyer and the First Lady of Namibia who worked with the Namibia Stock Exchange and chaired the Presidential Economic Advisory Council.

The other two are: Nasir-El Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State in Nigeria who is a professional Quantity Surveyor and management consultant and Ms. Linda Mabhena- Olagunju, Founder and Managing Director, DLO Energy Resources Group an independent power producer in South Africa who was listed on Oprah Winfrey’s Power List as among the 20 Most Powerful Women in Africa and acknowledgedas such by Forbes magazine.