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Professor Nimi Wariboko

US University With African Heritage Appoints Nigerian Professor As Director Of African Studies

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – Professor Nimi Wariboko has been appointed Director of Boston University’s African Studies Centre (ASC).

This was contained in press statement issued by the University and signed by Dean of Pardee School, Professor Scott Taylor.

Boston University is well-known for its rich African ancestry, having produced a number of noteworthy African Americans, including renowned civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who received his PhD from the university’s Graduate School in 1955.

Boston University boasts over 130 scholars across 40 departments involved in African studies, ranging from arts, history, natural sciences, and social sciences to languages, diplomatic studies, religion, and environmental studies. These scholars are affiliated with the ASC, which forms part of Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies.

The Boston University’s ASC, established in 1953, is one of the oldest, largest, and most prestigious academic centres promoting African studies in the United States. The ASC, designated as a Title VI National Resource Centre by the US Department of Education, serves as a vital nexus for scholars and students interested in Africa and its studies.

According to the announcement, Nigerian-born Professor Wariboko, the Walter G. Muelder Professor of Social Ethics, is uniquely qualified to manage this prestigious centre. He is a well-known transdisciplinary academic, having written over 30 books, as well as 100 journal articles and book chapters.

His wide corpus of work includes economics, theology, philosophy, and literary studies, with an emphasis on social justice, poverty, and economic development.

Announcing Wariboko’s appointment, Professor Scott Taylor lauded his extensive contributions: “He is a renowned scholar of World Christianity, social and economic ethics and philosophy. His research spans multiple disciplines, including economics, theology, philosophy, and literary studies.

Earlier in his career, Professor Wariboko worked for many years in the financial sector.” Wariboko’s background includes experience as an investment banker on Wall Street and in Lagos, where he authored Nigeria’s first books on financial statement analysis and bank valuation in the early 1990s.

Taylor emphasized Wariboko’s unique qualifications: “The breadth of [Wariboko’s] intellectual pursuits and wide-ranging professional background makes him an exceptional leader for the ASC as the Center embarks on its next 75 years of excellence.”

Wariboko’s academic contributions have garnered international recognition. His work has been the subject of international conferences, workshops, and book panels, and two edited volumes of essays by eminent scholars discuss the global reach and significance of his thoughts.

At Boston University, Wariboko serves on the University Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committee (UAPT) and chairs Theology, Ethics, and Philosophy at the School of Theology.

He also edits Pneuma, the world’s most prestigious journal on Pentecostal studies, and recently published a book of poetry in his native Kalabari-Ijaw language, with an English poetry book set to release next year.

Wariboko’s teaching portfolio at Boston University includes graduate courses in economic ethics, social ethics, continental philosophy, theology, the history of African Christianity, global Pentecostalism, and literature and ethics.

When asked about his vision for the ASC, Wariboko emphasized collaboration and mutual growth:

“I want to bring the ASC into mutually beneficial partnership with academic and research institutions in Africa. I want the Center to broaden Americans’ understanding of Africa and work to promote African perspectives in their thinking about global affairs.

“My vision is to ensure that ASC becomes an intimate, dialogical, and lovely space for the meeting of learning communities in Boston University and Africa. To put it simply,

“I want more collaboration between the ASC and universities and institutions in Africa. I strongly believe that Africans at home and in the diaspora can contribute to my success as the director.”

Wariboko’s appointment heralds a new chapter for the African Studies Center, promising to deepen and expand its engagement with Africa and enhance its role as a leading institution for African studies.

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