Anthony is an exemplary scholar as well as a person of tremendous character with significant leadership skills. He is a lecturer and Head of the Agribusiness and Management Department at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike (AE-FUNAI) Ebonyi State, Nigeria. He joined the University in August 2015.
Oko-Isu has strong academic research excellence evidenced in his research outputs and publications with top-tier journals. He is also a successful leader as he pioneered the Agribusiness and Management program and Department and till date the Head of the program. He also doubles as the Pioneer Director of AE-FUNAI Farms Directorate a position he occupies to date. His responsibilities in AE-FUNAI included; secretary - University Central Accreditation committee, Faculty seminar committee, Faculty research team and Faculty cooperative society; member of Faculty summit and Hidden Hunger conference organizing committees; Coordinator for Establishment of Centre for Food and Nutrition Security, etc.
In Nigeria, he is a member of the National Advisory Committee on Micronutrient Deficiency Control as well as a member of the State Committee on Food and Nutrition (SCFN) Ebonyi State, Nigeria. He served as a member of the local organizing committee that hosted the National Micronutrient Conference organized by the Government of Nigeria and its partners.
In November 2019, he was elected as the first African into the Technical Advisory Board (TAB) representing Europe and Africa in Research Data Alliance (RDA). Anthony is a recipient of research grants and fellowships including the OCP Research LLC travel grant and the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) training fellowship on “Computer Applications in agriculture”. He has also received several pieces of training from the Association of Commonwealth University, United Nations Food and Agricultural Association (FAO), the World Bank Group, etc.
Anthony is an experienced researcher with a demonstrated history of huge data handling and collection in his research institution and for other organizations. He is Skilled in Data Analysis, Quantitative Research, Agripreneurship, rural development, poverty reduction, management, and Economics.
Among his assets as a professional is an ability to effectively organize and facilitate groups, especially for purposes of collaborative and participatory research (such as interdisciplinary research and projects that involve a community advisory board) and faculty development to enhance the research capacity of faculty and staff. He is skilled in group dynamics and related communications.
Oko-Isu is married to Mercy and with two wonderful daughters - Esther and Goodness.
What is your history with the RDA and what impact has it had on you?
Since joining RDA in 2018 and RDA-TAB in 2019, it has had the following impact on my career:
- Contributed to acceleration of data infrastructure development personally and in my University
- Exposed me to working and sharing experiences with collaborators throughout the world
- Given me access to extraordinary network of colleagues with various levels of experience, perspectives and practices
- Made me Gain greater expertise in data science regardless of being an early career researcher
- Enhanced the quality and effectiveness of my personal work and activities
- It has given me competitive advantage professionally and positioned me for leadership within the broader research community
What do you feel you bring to the TAB and what is your experience so far in being a member?
I brought to TAB passion, enthusiasm and strategic penetration of RDA into African institutions/organizations. My experience so far as a member of TAB is what I term “the good, the bad and the ugly”. “The good” because I have received tremendous support from fellow TAB members/RDA secretariat and personally benefited in my career due to my membership of TAB; “the bad” because my target of registering at least my University as an organizational member of RDA and support of my participation in RDA plenaries has not been actualized due to “lack of funding support”; and “the ugly” because I have a platform through which I can help position African institutions, organization and Government Agencies at par with others in the developed countries but have not been given needed support by them. However, I have not lost hope. I strongly believe that with the continuous support of RDA Secretariat and RAD-TAB Chairs and members, there is a great future for me and my goals for Africa will be achieved.