Osarhieme Benson Osadolor is an educationist, historian, admini- strator and security policy adviser. He holds a PhD in African History (2001) from the University of Hamburg , Hamburg , Germany and he is a distinguished Professor of History and International Studies, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria and served as Acting Vice Chancellor and the Chairman of Senate, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria from 11th May 2021 to 8th February 2022. Professor Osadolor is a scholar par excellence with a successful career in the university community. He has won several laurels, prizes and grants and has distinguished himself as a scholar of international repute. He is a recipient of the United States Senior Fulbright Scholar Award (2008), the German Academic Exchange Scholar Award –Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst DAAD (1995), and a Laureate of the Governance Institute (1994) of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA).
He won two awards from the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, Washington D.C, USA as an Occasional Lecturer to Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the San Diego State University, San Diego California, USA for the Spring Semester 2009. He was also an Occasional Lecturer to Baltimore City Community College, Baltimore, Maryland, USA for the Spring Semester 2009. He was the African Academic Consultant to the Art History Museum, Vienna, Austria on Benin Exhibition (Benin Kings and Rituals: Court Arts from Nigeria) held at the Museum for Voekerkunde, Vienna, Austria (2007) and subsequently in Paris (2007), Berlin (2008) and at the Arts Institute of Chicago (2008). Professor Osadolor is the Team Leader in Nigeria (since 2019) of The Benin Bronzes Project: Globalizing the Colonial Looting of Art at the University of Hamburg, Germany with Professor Dr. Juergen Zimmerer as the Project Coordinator. Early in his academic career, he won the UNESCO-Africa grant for participation in the Pan African Colloquium on Educational Innovation in Post- colonial Africa at the University of Cape Town, South Africa (December 1994) and since then, had received several other grants for research projects and conferences.
Professor Osarhieme Benson Osadolor is at the leading edge of knowledge generation and dissemination in African history and security studies. His research focuses on African historiography and historical research methods, the Benin Kingdom and Empire, military history and security studies, with his publications demonstrating his intellectual output and contributions to knowledge. His related research interest is in problems of West African development and nation-building in Africa. He has edited journals and books and published in scholarly books, and in peer-reviewed journals and monographs in Africa, the United States of America and Europe. He is editing a book on The Fundamentals of International Studies and Diplomacy. He is the President/Scientific Coordinator of the academic programme on Trans Atlantic Security Knowledge Systems (TASKS) – a research network of scholars in the international academic community and policy/decision makers in the Atlantic world. He was the Convener/Chairman of Panel No. 48 on African Security Complexes at the Fourth European Conference on African Studies, Uppsala, Sweden held in June 2011.
He was born on Tuesday, 23rd April 1957 in Benin to Daniel and Aghasomwan Osadolor Egharevba from Urhonigbe, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State. He attended St. James’ Primary School (now Agbado Primary School), Benin City from 1965 to 1970. He proceeded to Western Boys High School, Benin City for his secondary education from 1971 to 1975. He taught briefly as a teacher and then, trained at the Nigeria Institute of Journalism in News Reporting and Broadcasting before his university education. While studying in the university, he was a student leader and held leadership positions in several student and youth associations. As a postgraduate student at the University of Ibadan, he was elected the Hon. Speaker of the Student Union Parliament (Students Representative Council, SRC) during the 1987/1988 academic session, and in the early 1990s served as the National President of the All-Nigeria United Nations Youth and Students Association (ANUNSA) – the Nigerian chapter of the International Student Movement for United Nations (ISMUN). He holds the degree of Bachelor of Education (Arts) in History, (1985) Second Class Honours Upper Division of the University of Benin; Master of Arts in History (1988) from the University of Ibadan and Doctor of Philosophy, PhD in African History (2001) from the University of Hamburg, Germany. In his advanced training in historical scholarship, he emerged as the first Benin scholar to write and defend a doctoral dissertation on Benin history. His doctorate research on “The Military System of Benin Kingdom c.1440- 1897” examines how the reforms introduced by Oba Ewuare the Great (c.1440-1473) established an eﬀective political monopoly over the exertion of military power, and which laid the foundation of the development of a military system and empire- building.
He began his career as a university scholar in the Department of History, University of Ibadan (Ibadan School of History) as an Assistant Lecturer in 1988 immediately after he earned the Master’s degree as the best graduating student in the 1986/87 MA History class and served until 1996 when he has to continue his doctoral research in Hamburg, Germany. He joined the services of the University of Benin in the Department of History and International Studies in March 2004 as Lecturer I and rose to the position of full Professor in 2014. He delivered the 217th Inaugural Lecture of the University of Benin on Nations and National Security: The Historical Context of Security Sector Reform in Contemporary West Africa on 13th June 2019.
He has a wide range of administrative experiences and academic leadership positions early in his career at the University of Ibadan and thereafter at the University of Benin. He was the Representative of the Faculty of Arts on the Faculty Board of Education, University of Ibadan from 1990/91 to 1994/95 academic session, the Representative of the Faculty of Arts on the Senate Curriculum Committee, University of Ibadan, 1994/95 session, and Chairman, Strategic Planning Committee for the Twenty-first Century, Department of History, University of Ibadan, 1994/95session. Professor Osadolor has been a permanent member of the Senate of the University of Benin since October 2014, served as Head, Department of History and International Studies from 1st July 2010 to 30th June 2013 and as Professor and Head of Department from 1st July 2019 until 11th May 2021 when he was appointed by the Edo State Government as the Acting Vice Chancellor of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.
He served as the Vice Chancellor’s Representative on the Business Committee of Senate and as Chairman, Business Sub-Committee, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin from 2016 – May 2021. He was the elected Senate Representative on the Ceremonials Committee from July 2010 to June 2012, and appointed Chairman of the Ceremonials Committee from 1st July 2012 till May 2021. He was a member of the Board of the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Benin and has served in many University committees and boards either as Vice Chancellor’s representative, elected Senate representative or as a member. He was Dean of Students of the University of Benin from July 2016 to June 2018. Professor Osadolor has also served relevant public bodies. He was appointed member of the Technical Advisory Group of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Abuja, 8th August 2019 till date. He was Co-Chairman of the Edo State Government Committee on the Teaching of Edo Language and History in Schools, 2017. He served as a resource person during the 2014 National Conference, Abuja and then, as a member of the Committee on the Final Report of 2014 National Conference Abuja. He is a member of professional associations, ordained a Reverend of the United Baptist Church in 2014, elected Chairman of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association Worldwide, Edo State Branch in August 2021, and he is married and blessed with children.