HomeNewsNigerian breaks 187-yr-old record at University of London

Nigerian breaks 187-yr-old record at University of London


A Nigerian academic, Professor Abiodun Alao, will today
deliver inaugural lecture at King’s College, University of
London, making him the first black African scholar to deliver
such lecture since the institution was established in 1829.
Alao, a professor of African Studies, was conferred with
professorial title about two years ago alongside his Nigerian
counterpart in the institution’s African Leadership Centre,
Prof. Funmi Olonisakin, making them first black Africans to
attain professorial cadre at the institution since its
The appointments have been confirmed in a letter by the
institution’s President and Principal, Prof. Edward Byrne AC,
justifying their elevations based on their contributions to
African peace and security.
According to a statement obtained by Vanguard yesterday,
Alao had published several single-authored books, well-
researched journal articles and occasional papers, among
others, which findings and recommendations “have largely
helped establish peace and boost security in many African
In an institution that produced 12 Nobel Laureates among
its professors, the statement said Alao had distinguished
himself, citing about 100 widely recognized 100 academic
articles and encyclopedia entries he had published, all of
which were assessed to accord him professorial title.
As an academic tradition globally, the statement said the
Nigerian academic would today deliver his inaugural lecture,
titled, “Africa: A Voice to be Heard, Not a Problem to be
Solved” at the Edward Safra Lecture Theatre at the college’s
main campus.
The statement said the inaugural lecture, holding at the
institution’s Edward Lecture Theatre on the Strand, “will be
attended by many people from different parts of the world,
including from the United States, Australia, Kenya, South
Africa and Nigeria.”
Aside his academic contributions, Alao joined the long list of
globally renowned academics the institution had produced
and whose research works had produced answers to
different challenges of humanity and society since its
The statement pointed diverse assignments Alao had
undertaken for international institution, which include the
United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), European Union
(EU), World Bank, ECOWAS and for many individual
countries in Africa and beyond.
It added that Alao was part of the 4-person team that
undertook “a comprehensive threat assessment for Rwanda
immediately after the 1994 genocide and was on the team of
academic experts that advised former UN Secretary-General,
Kofi Annan on the civil war in Sierra Leone.
“He also co-authored the Concept Note for the Common
Defence and Security Policy for the Africa Union and was the
co-author of the first post-Civil War National Security
Strategy Framework for Liberia. He was a member of the
team that worked on the Development of Donor Countries
Effectiveness in Fragile States, the statement said.
Ranking among the top 20 universities in the world, King’s
College London holds a unique position in global
scholarship, which the statement said, was evident in the
landmark research works the institution’s professors and
alumni had conducted since its establishment several
decades ago.
Among its landmark research works, the statement cited the
research that led to the discovery of the famous genetic
testing, DNA undertaken at the College by Prof. Maurice
Wilkins, while another retired scholar of the institution, Prof.
John Lister, developed Antiseptic Surgery.
It cited the researches of Prof. Charles Wheatstone, who
“invented the first working telegraphs line and Prof. James
Maxwell, who began humanity’s first steps towards a unified
theory of physics by bringing magnetism and electricity
together in a research that paved way for radio, television,
radar and mobile phones.
“The College also has among its former Professors, Thomas
Hodgkin, who discovered the Hodgkin disease that was
named after him and John Danrell who invented the world’s
first battery,” the statement added.

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