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Kingston Nyamapfene

VC, University of Africa, Toru-Orua, Bayelsa State.


  • Education & Learning
  • Environment & Society
  • Leadership & Motivation
  • Research & Innovation
  • Science & Technology



Prof Nyamapfene has expertise in higher education, environment, leadership, agriculture, technology and Innovation. He has served in teaching, research, and management roles at universities in the Netherlands, Portugal, USA, Cote d’Ivoire, Lesotho, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, etc.

Prof. Nyamapfene has played pioneering roles on several occasions, particularly with regard to the establishment of new programs and new higher education institutions. He is currently the first substantive Vice Chancellor of the University of Africa, at Toru-Orua, Bayelsa State, a relatively new State University established by the Bayelsa State Government and created to serve as a model of how State governments can reduce the burden of higher education through Public-Private-Partnerships, with a focus on internationalization. For three years prior to that, he was President of the African University of Science and Technology (AUST), a post-graduate Science and Engineering university in Abuja, Nigeria, renowned for its research and high-quality graduates. Although situated in Nigeria, AUST is a pan-African university, one of the 3 Nelson Mandela African Institutes for Science and Technology. It draws students from all of sub-Saharan Africa and visiting faculty from more than 130 top institutions across the world. He is a citizen of Zimbabwe and the USA and a permanent resident of South Africa. He has served in teaching, research and management roles at universities in the Netherlands, Portugal, the United States, Cote d’Ivoire, Lesotho, South Africa, Zimbabwe and other African countries. During the period 2014-16 he was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Science and Technology Education at the University of Johannesburg, where his responsibilities included developing research capacity, faculty mentoring and enhancing fund-raising capacity and playing an advisory role to the university’s Transformation Forum, a watchdog for ensuring implementation of equity policies.

Previous positions include: Academic Vice President of the International University of Grand-Bassam (2012-2014), then a new American University in Cote d’Ivoire, Associate Provost for Distance and Online Education at Texas Southern University, Houston Texas; Dean of International Programs at SUNY’s Empire State College; holder of the Endowed, “Distinguished Leadership Chair” at Rocky Mountain College, Montana, USA; Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and Research) at the former multi-campus Vista University, South Africa with 37 000 students on 7 campuses and Managing Director of, a SAP-sponsored, start-up which pioneered online learning in South Africa. He is the author of 14 books and over 70 journal papers on issues as diverse as Soil Microscopy, the Environment, Irrigation Design, Managing Higher Education, and Globalization. His accomplishments resulted in him being one of the 22 people featured in a kind of South African “Who’s Who in Scientific Research” titled Inquiring Minds. He has also undertaken consulting work for major international development agencies and national governments on issues covering a similarly wide range of issues. Prof. Nyamapfene has served on several Boards, including roles as Chairman or Vice Chair on some of them. In two of those roles, he served as Chair of the Board of what is now the Zimbabwe Water Authority (ZINWA) and, later, Executive Chairman of the Water Research Commission of South Africa, a premier research funding body. In the area of the Environment, one of his most noted contributions was his selection from an international bid process which attracted responses from almost 300 candidates, to serve as one of 5 individual consultants who were selected to write “The Green Paper”, a discussion document which formed the basis of current environmental legislation in South Africa.

Educational qualification

  • Ph.D. in Soil Science (Univ. of Aberdeen, Scotland)
  • M.S. in Agronomy and International Agriculture (Cornell Univ., USA)
  • Post-Grad Diploma in Aerospatial Survey (ITC, Netherlands)
  • Post-Grad. Cert. in Education, Univ. of Rhodesia
  • B.A. in English (University of London)

Key achievements in the last decade

  • Created several new programs
  • Set up new institutions

His range of speaking topics

  • Higher Education
  • Development
  • Agriculture and the Environment

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