Nigerian born University of Edinburgh Professor of Sustainable Business, Kenneth Amaeshi, has been named Professor of Sustainable Finance and Governance at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy.

The European University Institute was set up in 1972 by the founding members of the European Communities “… to cultivate high-level contributors to academics and policy-making who will shape social progress and the advancement of the European spirit” (EUI website).

Up until now the Director, Scaling Business in Africa, and Chair in Business and Sustainable Development at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Mr Amaeshi will, amongst others, be saddled with the responsibility of overseeing research and pedagogy on global south governance, in the light of the Institute’s repositioning after the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

He is additionally expected to leverage his expertise in the dissection of global south governance endeavours vis a vis the Institute’s recommendations to the European Union, towards good governance policy initiatives and financing of sustainable development.

Mr Amaeshi’s research is international and has a very strong interface between business and society, particularly national governments in Africa. Since 2015, and in collaboration with the Tony Elumelu Foundation, he has developed the intellectual foundations of Africapitalism – an economic philosophy for the development of Africa – and championed its mainstreaming in the global academia.

An intellectually fecund scholar, Mr Amaeshi began his tertiary education in Nigeria – obtaining BA in Philosophy from the University of Uyo and MSc in Industrial/Organisational Psychology from the University of Nigeria. He also earned multiple academic degrees from several European universities, including the Pontifical Urban University, Rome (BPhil in Philosophy – cum laude) and University of Hull, School of Economics, UK (MSc in Economics of Public Policy).

He studied at the University of Nottingham, Business School, UK (MBA in Corporate Social Responsibility); the Oxford University, Said Business School, UK, (Visiting PhD Scholar); and the University of Warwick, Business School, UK (PhD in International Business and Political Economy).

In addition to this current role at the University of Edinburgh, Mr Amaeshi is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, United Kingdom, an External Examiner at Oxford University, and an Extraordinary Professor of Business in Africa at the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, South Africa. He holds a Visiting Professorship at the Lagos Business School, Pan Atlantic University, Nigeria and is the President of the Association of Sustainability Professionals, Nigeria. He was a Scholar in Residence (2016/17) at the National Pension Commission, Nigeria, amongst other prestigious appointments.

Outside teaching and research, Mr Amaeshi works closely with businesses and governments in Africa, Europe, and Asia. He leads executive capacity building engagements and consultancy projects in the broad areas of sustainable finance, sustainability strategy, leadership, ethics, and governance for multinational corporations and institutions.

Mr Amaeshi will retain his Chair in Business and Sustainable Development at the University of Edinburgh, while at the European University Institute.

Describing their gain, Alex Stubb, the Director of School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute and former Prime Minister of Finland says: “We are excited that Professor Amaeshi has accepted to join us after a very competitive recruitment process. He brings an invaluable wealth of experience and timely knowledge of the global south”.

In an early congratulatory message, fellow Chevening Scholar and Baze University Professor, Abiodun Adeniyi, described Mr Amaeshi as “a veritable Nigerian intellectual export, a knowledge ambassador that is sure to continue soaring, for his commitment to business essences, and for his ability to expand the frontiers of financial synthesis.”

Reacting to Mr Amaeshi’s appointment, Chris Carter of Edinburgh University says: “Kenneth is an outstanding academic, who has a strong track record of helping reform governance in key institutions in Nigeria. He is the ideal candidate for this important new role at the European Institute University. He is perfectly placed to generate new thinking on governance that will have positive practical benefits for Sub-Saharan institutions.”

Mr Amaeshi is from Imo State and a Chevening Scholar. He is probably the first Nigerian and one of few African Professors to occupy the key position at the multilateral institute, in what is seen as another pathfinding role for blacks and minority researchers, after being the first black African professor at the 438-year-old University of Edinburgh.

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