By Dele Ogbodo
The Board of Trustees of the African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Abuja has appointed Prof. Kingston Nyamapfene President of the institution.
THISDAY gathered that the process of selection of the new president, who hails from Zambia, was done under a competitive process, which comprised applications from 10 nationalities with the majority from Nigeria, USA, Europe and India.
In a statement, the university’s Head of Media, Mr. Obioha Atulomah, said Nyamapfene’s appointment took effect from March 2. He took over from Prof. Mamadou Kaba Traore, who until now served the university as acting president.
The new president holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from London University, UK in 1971; a master’s degree in Agronomy and International Agriculture from Cornell in 1978; and a PhD in Earth Science from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland in 1985.
He has a rich background and experience both as an academic with 25 years of full professorship since 1991 and an astute administrator with 18 years of management experience, including dean, associate provost, deputy vice-chancellor and vice-president in South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire and the US.
Aside being an academic, Nyamapfene has handled several managerial positions in the last 18 years. He was Vice-President, International University of Grand- Bassam, Cote d’Ivoire; Assistant Provost for Online Learning and Dean of the College of Continuing Education at Texas Southern University; Dean of International Programmes within the State University of New York System.
He was also Dean of Agriculture at the University of Fort Hare in South Africa; Mildred and Homer Scott Distinguished Leadership Chair, Rocky Mountain College, Billings, Montana, CEO and Managing Director, Ithinq.com, an online education company based in Johannesburg, South Africa; and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs and Research, Vista University, South Africa.
He also served on various national and international level advisory committees, dealing with policy issues in education and served as a reviewer of papers submitted to peer reviewed journals in his field of expertise.
Nyamapfene possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience in fund-raising for educational purposes; out of the many are funds he helped raise for Institutional Capacity Building (under the USAID-funded Tertiary Education Linkages Programme (TELP) and funds for research at the Vista University.
He also negotiated and oversaw a multi-million international research exchange programme funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and involving Wageningen Agricultural University (Netherlands) and a consortium of six South African universities. Nyamapfene prepared several funding proposals and successfully received funding from different international organisations.