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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



Prof. Tade Akin Aina, Honoree, University of Ghana-Legon

CODESRIA is pleased to note that Prof. Tade Akin Aina, former Deputy Executive Secretary in charge of Publications at the Council (1993-1998), has been nominated to receive an honorary doctorate degree to be awarded by the University of Ghana-Legon. The degree will be conferred at a Special Congregation to be held on Friday, April 28th, 2023.

This is a fitting honour to Prof. Aina whose career has seen him occupy important leadership positions in both academic and philanthropic circles, as well as immerse himself in and support movements within Africa that seek to advance the course of justice. Prof. Aina earned his Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University of Lagos before proceeding for his Master of Science at the University of London and PhD in Sociology from University of Sussex in Sussex, UK. He taught at the University of Lagos rising from the position of graduate assistant in 1975 to the position of Professor in 1997. Meanwhile, he was appointed as CODESRIA’s Deputy Executive Secretary in 1993 and served until 1998, when he was appointed to head the Ford Foundation’s Governance and Civil Society Programme at its’ Nairobi Office. At the Ford Foundation, Prof. Aina served in various capacities including, Acting Representative of the Office for the Middle East and North Africa in Cairo and later as Representative for the Office for East Africa from 2003 to 2008. Upon completion of his term at Ford Foundation, Prof. Aina was appointed Director, Higher Education and Libraries in Africa at Carnegie Corporation of New York where he supported the struggle to revitalize higher education in Africa. He is currently the Head of Research at Mastercard Foundation, a position he assumed in 2020 after serving for eight years as Executive Director of the Nairobi-based Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR).

Prof. Aina’s academic career demonstrates his dedication as a scholar who maintains a deep interest in knowledge. He is, to use his own words, a committed and visionary practitioner, scholar and thinker who combines intellectual rigor with strong collaborative leadership skills. The ease in which he  connects knowledge to practice is clear in his work, but more specifically in his long sojourn into the world of philanthropy. For instance, Prof. Aina took the job in Ford Foundation and proceeded to edit one of the leading texts on the topic in Africa. The study, Giving to Help, Helping to Give: The Context and Politics of African Philanthropy, co-edited with Bhekinkosi Moyo and published in 2013 by Amalion Publishing, is a necessary reference text on the theme of philanthropy. His work on higher education have also been translated into interesting academic publications that argue for and urge, as he did in his 2009 M.K.O. Abiola Lecture, delivered at the African Studies Association, the need to go beyond reforms in higher education to transformation. Other areas of intellectual interest in which Prof. Aina has made immense contribution and excelled  include the pioneering work on globalization and social policy that he began while at CODESRIA.

On behalf of CODESRIA and its community of scholarship, we write to congratulate Prof. Aina on this well deserved honour, and the University of Ghana-Legon for recognizing a clear intellectual star and mentor among us.




26th April 2023.

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