Founder's Profile

Ikechukwu Ikeme

Alexander Ikechukwu Ikeme, is a professor of Food Science and technology and the Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Development Research. He obtained his PhD degree from Purdue University in the United States of America in 1981, an M.Sc. degree from University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Arkansas U.S.A in 1979 and a B.Sc. degree from University of Nigeria Nsukka in 1976. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma and M.Sc. degree in Psychology and Certificates in Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Studies. His areas of specialization include quality evaluation, processing and preservation of meat, fish, poultry and egg, strategic thinking and strategic planning/entrepreneurship education. Prof. Ikeme is a research of repute who has published over 40 articles in international and local journals. He is the Author of Meat Science and Technology A comprehensive Approach (1991). This masterpiece remains the only one of its kind in West Africa.

Prof. Ikeme was Head of Department of Food Science and Technology from 2002-2004. He was the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture. University of Nigeria, Nsukka from 2004-2006. As Dean, he assembled the team and supervised the team that developed the first Strategic Plan of Excellence for the Faculty and set the Faculty of Agriculture on its recovery path. His commitment to duty and achievements as the Dean earned him the nick-name the Action Dean and the People’s Dean”. Prof. Ikeme was a member of University of Nigeria Governing Council (2005-2007). He is a life Patron of Nigeria Association of Agricultural Students (NAAS-NATIONAL) and a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology.

He has received numerous awards and grants. He is a member of numerous professional bodies which includes; Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology, Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, Phi tau sigma, the Honour Society for Food Science and the National Association of Entrepreneurship Educators of Nigeria of which he was a founding vice president. Prof. Ikeme is a team player, a courageous man, a go-getter, a leader and a hard worker. His commitment to duty is exceptional and phenomenal.

His achievements in one and half years as the Director of CEDR and his numerous achievements as Head of Department, Dean of Faculty and Council member attest to this. He is a trustworthy person. He has never failed to render the account of his stewardship at the end of each of his service periods to the University. He has never been found wanting. Professor Ikeme is most at home with students and they have found in him a teacher, a coach, mentor and role model.

Prof. Alexander Ikechukwu Ikeme is a committed Christian. He is a knight of St. Mulumba and has received the award of Ide St. Peters Chaplaincy UNN” as an acknowledgement of his support to the Chaplaincy. He is happily married to Nneka Gloria Ikeme (nee Okonkwo-Abutu) and they are blessed with children.

Highlights of Administration & Management Experience

Over the last 39 years, Professor Ikeme has devoted his talents and energy to the advancement of University of Nigeria Nsukka and Nigerian Education as a whole. As a Dean of Agriculture (2004-2006) he led the campaign for Re-vamping and Re-engineering of Agriculture in Tertiary Institutions and became the driving force for the emergence of Entrepreneurial University. Little wonder, he received in December 2007, Corporate Standard Meritorious Diamond Award for National Development (MEDA 2007), as a Distinguished Agriculturist. As a Director of Centre for Entrepreneurship and Development Research (CEDR), Professor Ikeme within a period of two years (2006-2008) transformed CEDR and it became the “Shining Star” of Nigerian Tertiary Institutions that brought the Private Sector and the Ivory Towers together, realizing the Public Private Partnership (PPP) agenda.

In an Address Prof. Ikeme presented On August 15th, 2008 as the Director of Entrepreneurship Development Centre/CEDR on the occasion of formal opening of the EDC Onitsha Zone, by the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria Professor Chukwuma Soludo and Governor of Anambra State Mr. Peter Obi. Prof A.I Ikeme said:


The Entrepreneur Development Centre (CEDR) Onitsha Zone is being officially opened today for business. We are glad to be part of this well-articulated strategy to restructure our economy from total dependence on government, to a greater participation by the private sector. The EDC project based in Onitsha is a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) initiative power-driven by the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Development Research (CEDR). This is at the pilot stage and dedicated for the benefit of the states in the South East. Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDCs) is fashioned to redress the inability of graduates of our school system to set up, grow, expand and diversify micro, small and medium scale business ventures successfully. The lack of initiative and ability to engage in private enterprises has been identified as the major constraint in the industrial take-off of our nation. The EDCs is an intervention measure to retrain graduates and school leavers especially those not yet employed or are underemployed and others willingly wishing to be part of this new initiative, to create a class of Nigerian workforce that will be entrepreneurial, creative and proactive. Our Centre had earlier on sent out proposals to all the governors in South East detailing how we can assist in the training of their youth to become entrepreneurial.

Centre for Entrepreneurship and Development Research (CEDR)

Despite all the efforts made by the Nigerian government to produce efficient and self-reliant manpower from our educational institutions, majority of our products are still unemployed. Our higher institution graduates lack the necessary skills for creating jobs and have often been described as unemployable. The Nigeria economy is still weak and unstable and cannot compete with even some economies in the Sub-Sahara Africa. The weakness in the Nigerian economy is evident in the following fact;

  • Unemployment
  • Poor quality graduates
  • Weakness of students’ industrial experience
  • Lack of entrepreneurial spirit among tertiary institution graduates in Nigeria
  • Poverty
  • Inequality
  • Low gross national income (GNI)

Although there have been several efforts in the past by government to fight unemployment in Nigeria, unemployment has rather increased because the programmes were not sustainable in their design and implementation and equally lack entrepreneurship and business management component. In order to tackle the problem of unemployment and economic development in Nigeria, Okonji-Iwuala and Osafokwaako recommended that more extensive sectorial strategies that address bottlenecks, such as access to financing, availability of inputs and technology and skills, are urgently required. They further recommended that future administrations also should consider improving access to financing, particularly for young entrepreneurs, by introducing various innovative schemes such as venture capital and microfinance funds and improving the skills of would-be entrepreneurs.

As a means of solving the myriads of problems elaborated above and in line with the vision of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Chinedu Ositadinma Nebo, of positioning the University of Nigeria as an Entrepreneurial University. The Vice-Chancellor found in my humble self (Professor A.I. Ikeme) the Director, the cutting edge for the emergence of the Centre for Entrepreneur and Development Research.

In summary, Professor A.I. Ikeme has devoted his talents and strength to the emergence of a fully industrialized Nigeria through the catalytic and pioneering role of micro/small/medium enterprises. His mission is to promote entrepreneurial culture and mindset, skill acquisition, self-employment, economic independence and self-actualization. In the pursuit of his mission, he has served in various administrative capacities-cum-management positions as detailed below:

1983 - 2006

Member, Faculty of Agriculture Agric-week Committee. Until Recently, Have Been The Driving Force for Successful Organization of Faculty Week.

1984 -1986 / 1988 - 1990

Staff Adviser, Nigeria Association of Agricultural Student (NAAS), University of Nigeria Nsukka.

1985 - 1986

Member, Faculty of Agriculture Meritorious Service Award Committee.

1986 - 1988

Secretary, Nigeria Institute of Food Science and Technology, (NIFST) – Eastern Chapter, Working with a few Colleagues, the Eastern Chapter of NIFST was Resuscitated.

1987 - 1988

Secretary, Faculty of Agriculture Publications Committee.

1988 - 1990

Chairman, Faculty of Agriculture Publication Committee. Our Committee Produced The First Official Publication Of The Faculty Of Agriculture Since Inception. This masterpiece “The challenges of Agriculture in National Development”-Remains Relevant.

1990 - 1991

Hall Warden, Awolowo Hall, University of Nigeria Nsukka.

May 1998 - July 2000

Associate Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

September 2001 - August 2002

Associate Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

August 2002 - August 2004

Associate Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

My positive contributions to the faculty cannot be over emphasized. Every Dean needed my services. 1998-2004 were periods of learning and administering.

August 2002 - July 2004

Head, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.


Re-engineering and resuscitated the department of Food Science and Technology.

  • Computerization of the department.
  • Acquisition of the first official departmental car.
  • Renovation of the office of Head of Department.
  • The creation of Mini departmental library.
  • Initiated the erecting of a departmental building.
  • Graduated 2 M.Sc. and 1 PhD candidate that suffered the effect of 10 years unnecessary administrative bottleneck.
  • Admitted and graduated students with entrepreneurial vision.
July 2004 - July 2006

Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka- Re-engineered an ailing Faculty with five un-accredited departments to a vibrant, entrepreneurial and functional Faculty with full accreditation for all departments.

  • Initiated the employment of technical and administrative staff in all departments.
  • Reactivation of the abandoned Faculty bakery.
  • Refurbishment and repair of 3 abandoned Faculty vehicles.
  • Massive campaign to improve enrolment of students.
  • Development of the first ever strategic plan (2004-2010) of the Faculty of Agriculture.
  • Improvement of the Faculty poultry farm.
  • The buying of stocks in the lions’ water enterprise-to the tune of five hundred thousand naira. (N 500,000.00).

Restoration of peace in the Faculty.

2004 - October 2006

Member University of Nigeria Appraisal Committee (UAC)

May 2005 - October 2007

Member, Governing Council, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

May 2005 - October

Member, tenders Boards committee of the Governing Council, University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Familiar with due process as pertaining to inviting and accepting tenders from contractors and subsequent recommendation to council in respect of award of contracts.

May 2005 - October 2007

Members of Board, Energy Research and Development Centre, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

May 2005 - October 2007

Member of Board, University of Nigeria, General Enterprises Limited.

May 2005 - October 2007

Member University of Nigeria Senior Administrative and Technical Staff (SATS) committee.

2007 - 2009

Member, University Advisory Management Committee.

August 2006 - October 2007


(UNRED) FOUNDATION. } fine-tuning UNRED.

2006 - 2009

Vice President, National Entrepreneurship Educators of Nigeria.

2001 - Till Date

Executive Director, United Aid International. A Non-Governmental Organization committed to alleviate the suffering of the Needy. UAI works with grass roots organization to fight poverty. Rural dwellers are familiar with these organizations and readily embrace support channeled through them. This approach enables us to reach our target audience easily. Work with basic information emanating from the actual beneficiaries of our programmes. Our programmes are sharp and properly focused enabling us to create lasting impact in numerous rural communities such as Ugbene-Ajima, Iga, Ette, Abbe, Iheakpu-Awka, Affa, Olo, Imezi Owa, Inyi, Akpo, Isulo, and many other rural communities in Nsukka senatorial zone. Our modus operandi is basically to identify immediate social problems/needs among rural dwellers and match it with the most efficacious solution.

August 2006 - 2009

Director, University of Nigeria, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Development Research, (CEDR). Instrumental to the starting, continued Existence and Excellent performance of the Centre. Promote entrepreneurial culture and a change of mindset of our students, unemployed school leavers, graduates and artisans, skill acquisition, self-employment, economic dependence and self-actualization. Over eight thousand participants were trained within the South East and beyond.

February 2008 - 2012

Executive Director, Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) South East zone, Onitsha, an initiative of Central Bank of Nigeria. A well-articulated strategy to restructure our economy from total dependence on government to a greater participation by the private sector. The EDC project was power-driven by CEDR under my leadership for the benefit of the states in South-East Nigeria. Participants were trained, coached and mentored on how to successfully start and manage small and medium scale enterprises.

July 2007 - June 2008

National Patron and Organizer of the first and second undergraduate Business (UBC) Conference in South East, South-south and South west Nigeria, changing the mindset of students and creating awareness that entrepreneurship is the only way forward.