Professor Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka is currently the Senior Special Adviser on Industrialization to the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) where he is coordinating the establishment of Agro-Industrial Processing Zones and Industrial Policy in several African countries.
He served at a very high level within the United Nations (UN) system for 20 years, his last positions been Director, Regional Office for Africa, Chief Scientific Advisor, UN-HABITAT, and Director Monitoring & Research Division. He provided intellectual leadership for the UN-HABITAT flagship reports: “State of the World Cities Report” and the “Global Report on Human Settlements”. He introduced the “City Prosperity Index”, a monitoring metric for city performance now used in over 400 cities globally. He was Senior Economic Adviser, UN Centre on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Geneva where he coordinated the ten-year review of performance of Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
He spent six years (2001-2006) as Professor at the United Nations University – Institute for New technologies (UNU-INTECH). At this prestigious global citadel of research and training, Professor Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, a cerebral scholar epitomized distinction and dignity, where he earned global acclaim for his pioneering work in the field of Industrialization, Technological Change and Innovation Policy. He is the first Nigerian professor in the field of Development Economics and Industrial Policy. He is still a Visiting professor at the United Nations University – MERIT, Netherlands and the Open University, UK.
His books and with colleagues include: “From Consumption to Production: the Why and Ways out of Failed Industrialization in Nigeria”, “Rich Country Poor People: The Story of Nigeria’s Poverty in the midst of Plenty” (2014), “Structural Transformation and Economic Development: Cross-regional analysis of Industrialization and Urbanization”, 2017; “Uneven Paths of Development: Innovation and Learning in Asia and Africa” (Edward Elgar, 2009) and “Latecomer Development: Knowledge and Innovation for Economic Growth” (Routeledge, UK, 2010); “Learning to Compete in African Industry”, Ashgate (2006) and Industrial Clusters and Innovation Systems in Africa (UNU Press); and “Urban Innovation in China’s Shanty Towns” (2014).
He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering and Fellow, Nigerian Academy of Chemical Engineering.
Professor Oyelaran-Oyeyinka holds a Bachelor of Science (first class honours) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Master’s in Chemical engineering, University of Toronto, Canada, and Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in the Political Economy of Technological Change and Industrialization, University of Sussex, United Kingdom.