Eghosa E. Osaghae holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Ibadan (1986), where he is a Professor of Political Science. He was appointed Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in March 2021, and was most recently Vice Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Okada, a position he held for a record fourteen years (2004-2018).
Professor Osaghae was the 2019 Claude Ake Chair at Uppsala University and Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden, and a Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Studies in South Africa.
He was the 2017 Van Zyl Slabbert Professor of Politics and Sociology at the University of Cape Town and the 2014 Emeka Anyaoku Chair of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London. His Anyaoku Chair Inaugural Lecture, A State of Our Own: Second Independence, Federalism and the Decolonisation of the State in Africa, in April 2014 became the first inaugural lecture by a Nigerian in the history of the University of London.
Before taking up an appointment at Okada, he was the Leader of the Ford Foundation-funded Programme on Ethnic and Federal Studies and Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Ibadan. Between 1994 and 1998, he was Professor and Head of the Department of Political Studies at the University of Transkei, South Africa.
He has also been a Visiting Professor/Fellow/Distinguished Senior Scholar at the Carter Centre of Emory University USA (1989), University of Liberia (1989/90), Salzburg Seminar, Austria (1993), University of Cape Town South Africa (1994), the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala Sweden (1994), University of Ulster, Northern Ireland (1999, 2000), Northwestern University USA (2002, 2004), University of Cambridge UK (2003), a number of universities and research institutes in India (2005, 2009), Dartmouth College USA (2005) and Yale University USA (2009).
He was a Rockefeller ‘Reflections on Development’ Fellow (1989/90) and was most recently a MacArthur Fellow. In 1996, he won the “Best Paper Award” at the Eighth annual conference of the International Association for Conflict Management in Helsignor, Denmark. Professor Osaghae also won the “Best Article Award for 2004” of the African Politics Conference Group – a coordinate group of the American Political Science Association, African Studies Association, and International Studies Association. The same article also won the 2004 Lawrence Dunbar Reddick Memorial Scholarship Award for the best article on Africa published in the Journal of Third World Studies.
Professor Osaghae served as Chair of the Panel on Quality Assurance Assessment, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, 2011-2012, Chair of the Pan-African Working Group on “Building Institutional Effectiveness in Africa” hosted by the Institute for Global Dialogue (South Africa) and Federal Trust Fund (UK) between 2005 and 2006, UN Expert on Somalia (2010-2016), and has been a member of the Technical Advisory Panel and Network on Parliaments and Parliamentary Institutions of the African Capacity Building Foundation, Harare, Zimbabwe, since 2003.
Between 1998 and 2004, he was Africa’s representative on the Steering Committee of the Civil Society and Governance Project based at the IDS of the University of Sussex, UK, and between 2006 and 2010, was a member of the Centre Advisory Review Group, Development Research Centre on Citizenship, Participation and Accountability, which was based at the IDS, University of Sussex. He also served on the Steering Committee of the Consortium for Development Partnerships, a successful model of North-South intellectual collaboration that involved institutions from North America, Europe and Africa between 2005 and 2012.
Osaghae is a member of several learned societies and editorial boards. In 2002, he was Consultant to the African Development Bank’s Country Mission to Zambia, and produced the country’s Governance Profile. Between 2001 and 2003, he was a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Political Affairs in Nigeria, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Nigeria Development Forum. He has consulted for the USAID, DFID, UNDP, and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), and is Founder and Chair of the Governing Board of the Community Relations and Conflict Resolution Centre in Ibadan.
Professor Osaghae has published extensively on governance, state politics and globalization in books and journals, and attended over 300 conferences, workshops and seminars in different parts of North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Amongst his books are Federal Character and Federalism in Nigeria (1989), which he edited with Professor Peter Ekeh, Between State and Civil Society in Africa (1994), Ethnicity, Class and State Power in Liberia (1995), Crippled Giant: Nigeria Since Independence (1998), Researching Conflict in Africa: Insights and Experiences (2005), a co-edited book published by the United Nations University Press, and Federal Solutions to State Failure in Africa (2020). In addition, he has published well over 150 articles in books and learned international journals.