Contact Information

Initiative for the Advancement of Education in Africa (IAEA)
P. O. Box 27322
Houston, Texas 77227-7322, USA


IAEA History

In October 2005, at a conference of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) in Houston, Dr. Mamadou S. Diallo and Dr. Elive Menyoli observed that although Africa is a major oil-producing continent, her contributions to scientific development related to oil exploration were negligible.   As they discussed this observation, Drs. Diallo and Menyoli concluded that one way to improve this situation was to setup a non-profit organization that would identify talented African students interested in Geoscience and other oil and gas related disciplines and counsel them on how to go about seeking admission to well established graduate programs in universities in the west through their academic network.

Around the same time, in early 2006, a group of friends who all worked for ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company in Houston initiated a monthly meeting at a local African restaurant.  Members of this group, all of whom are of African origin, were Mamadou S. Diallo, Adeyinka Adenekan, Ali Farah, Moses Minta, and Adingar Nadjiressem.  The meetings served as a happy-hour event. Soon, other friends of African origin that work in professional capacities for other Houston-area companies joined in the networking opportunity.   As attendance at the meetings grew, roundtable discussions started to center on issues related to the development of Africa.  Those discussions showed that the participants, like most Africans, were very good at identifying the problems that Africa faced.  What was less clear was how the group could contribute in a meaningful way to addressing some of these problems.  The group nevertheless challenged itself to do something.

In mid September 2006, Dr. Diallo brought to the attention of the group, the request of financial support for a student in Nigeria to finish his graduate studies. An ExxonMobil’s employee initiated this request.  The group rallied around and contributed 80% of the amount needed by the student.  Through this event, the idea of creating a non-profit organization to support education in Africa re-emerged. Following a few months of further discussions along this line, the group called a formal meeting for Friday, December 8, 2006 with the purpose of defining the mission, vision, bylaws and choosing the name of the new organization. The initial name of the organization agreed upon was Network of African Professional Non-profit. The bylaws of this organization were adopted on March 28, 2008 at Finger Licking Restaurant, Bissonnet, Houston. The name was later changed to Initiative for the Advancement of Education in Africa (IAEA) due to legal reason (similarity of name to another registered name in Texas).  The Texas Secretary of State, on May 5, 2008, issued the certificate of formation, recognizing the conformity of the Initiative for the Advancement of Education in Africa (IAEA) to the applicable provisions laws.  The Initiative for the Advancement of Education in Africa (IAEA) was formally recognized as a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code (IRS) on February 11, 2009.

The founding members of the present organization are:
Adeyinka Adenakan (Nigeria), Adingar Nadjiressem (Chad), Ali M. Farah (Somalia), Edwin D. Obune (Nigeria), Elive Menyoli (Cameroon), Emmanuel Njumbe (Cameroon), Mamadou Diallo (Mauritania), Taye Akewusola (Nigeria), Oluropo R. Ayodele (Nigeria) and Moses Minta (Ghana)

The founding board members of the organization are:
Mamadou Diallo (Chair), Elive Menyoli (Vice Chair), Ali M. Farah (Treasurer) and Oluropo R. Ayodele (Secretary).