IASB Talent Scout, powered by eSpeakers and the International Association of Speaker Bureaus

photo of Philip Emeagwali

Philip Emeagwali

In a televised speech, Bill Clinton (as president) extolled Philip Emeagwali as "one of the great minds of the Information Age," as well as "the Bill Gates of Africa." However, his admirers argued that "Bill Gates is the Philip Emeagwali of America."

fee: call for quote

speaking career: 30 years, 20 presentations in the last 12 months

topics: Internet, Youth/Children, Black History, Future, International Affairs, Creativity


travels from



(202) 203-8724



industry experience

Telecommunications, Colleges and Universities


call for quote


media & files

Note from Philip:

A poll by the London-based NEW AFRICAN magazine ranked Philip Emeagwali as history's 35th greatest person of African descent, with Nelson Mandela as #1 and Martin Luther King as #7. CNN called him "A Father of the Internet." Philip Emeagwali will relate his journey from child soldier, refugee and war survivor to groundbreaking success.

Are you looking for:

Then look no further!
Philip Emeagwali - a revered Renaissance scholar, as well as a dynamic speaker - is now available to regale your conference attendees with passionate stories, humor, interaction and intimate conversations on a cornucopia of issues.


How does he present?
His speeches are tied into your conference theme. No equations, no how-tos, no powerpoint, just an elite level of conversation you won’t get anywhere else.


1. You Want Meaningful, Real-World Content

Philip Emeagwali — a child soldier that became a soldier for peace and truth, a refugee on the United Nations' Gallery of Prominent Refugees and a war survivor (one million Biafrans out of 15 million died) — will relate his own compelling experience with African war, emigration to the United States and groundbreaking success. It's a powerful mix of combat experience and business skill. Just read what some have said.

“I have never come across such a speech concentrated on solving the problem of Africa.” --- Aster Sagai (born in Eritrea), London, England

“Your article [speech transcript] is the most inspirational document I have ever come across my whole life.“ --- Born in Ghana, living in Minnesota, USA.

2. You Want "Take-Home" Value

Meeting planners described his presentations as well-researched, well-organized, clear-purposed, convincing, and laced with strong take-away value pearls of wisdom. Don’t take their word for it, read what a newspaper columnist wrote.

"The man [Emeagwali] may have carved his name in gold for what his discoveries achieved for humanity, but it is his thoughts on the rabid underdevelopment of Africa, and the measures required for the eradication of poverty in particular that motivate me this morning." – Muhammad Al-Ghazali, Daily Trust, allafrica.com/stories/200610171082.html

3. You Want Instant Rapport

A university provost described him as a Renaissance scholar who walks his talk and captivates audiences with his stories, building a narrative around pertinent scientific facts, and moving his listeners to action.

“I read with tears in my eyes the brain drain article [speech transcript]. Oh good lord!” --- Gboyega 

4. You Want an Out-of-the-Box Thinker  

Event planners have extolled Emeagwali as a public intellectual and great conversationalist who empowers audiences with his ideas. Don’t take their word for it, read what a newspaper columnist wrote.

"I have always pondered over what I will call the Nigerian paradox, the inherent contradiction of a country too rich to be poor and at the same time too poor to be rich; a country rich in monetary terms and yet abjectly poor in all facets of human development until I read Emeagwali’s speech" --- Ikechukwu Amaechi, Daily Independent, 17 October 2006.

5. You Want a Credible Expert Your Audience Trusts 

TIME magazine called Emeagwali "A Father of the Internet." He is considered a modern African icon.

“Sir, I must say that your speech on that faithful day have enabled me to rediscover myself, and also reminds me that Africa has great potentials that can make Africa rise to its glory.”  --- Sunday Isoni

6. You Want a Custom Tailored Speech 

Few speakers come close to Emeagwali in delivering highly customized content tied in to your conference theme. You will not get a canned presentation that have been delivered elsewhere. Click here for a sample copy of our pre-event document used to tailor his speech to your audience.                 http://emeagwali.com/booking/speaking/pre-program-questionnaire.pdf

“Truly a powerful speech that brings to reality the truth and the actual effect of brain drain.” --- Wallace Ngugi, Nairobi, Kenya

7. You Want a Veteran Speaker

He will build a narrative around pertinent information that will change the hearts and minds of your audience. He draws from history based on his belief that we cannot imagine the future without remembering the past. He explains that the present creates the future, while our image of the future inspires the present. His key points are made memorable with stories, metaphors and colorful anecdotes as well as vivid scenarios, first-hand accounts, and personal and practical lessons that can inform and inspire your audience. Just read what was said.

“I was marveled not about the content on its own but the way and manner the note was delivered.” --- Adisa,  Saheed Adedeji  

8. You Want a Good Evaluation

Our goal is to make the meeting planner the hero by delivering more than you expect.

9. You Want Words of Wisdom

"Once again, Philip Emeagwali, drops some much needed wisdom on us…. Essential reading…." n’cho blog

10. You Want Lots of Press Mentions

You will project your brand to a global audience. His last five speeches were reproduced verbatim in a thousand newspapers and websites and translated into several languages, with the central ideas shaping public opinion. For example, his September 23, 2006 speech at the University of Alberta (Canada) garnered about 1000 press mentions in both print and electronic publications.

"Indeed Philip Emeagwali did give us great wisdom in his September 23, 2006 speech delivered at University of Alberta, entitled 'Ideas, Not Money, Alleviate Poverty'" – Momodou Sabally, allgambian.net/commentary_68.htm

11. You Want Extra Value                            

Emeagwali is also available for “Meet and Greets” or “An Evening of Conversations” on a cornucopia of issues. He also stays around after his speech to give students advice that will help them gain success.  

12. You Want a Public Intellectual

Emeagwali is tremendously well informed on a broad range of global issues; his messages have solid content and make an impact on the audience. As a supercomputer and Internet pioneer, he visualizes and articulates his dreams for the future and reflects on where humanity is or should be going.

13. You Want a Great Return on Your Investment

The ROIs is measured by top placement of his speech transcripts with sponsor name in the media and a thousand websites. It is not unusual for the entire transcript of his speeches to be reproduced in a hundred newspapers. For instance, university admission offices have noticed a spike in enquiries from Africa following Emeagwali’s on-campus engagement.

What are his presentation topics?
Each speech is based upon Emeagwali’s interviews with your event organizers and is tied to your conference theme. His most requested topics are:

Youth Motivation
Computers & ICT
Future of the Internet
Emerging Technologies
Africa Day Lectures
Black History
Creativity and Innovation
Brain Drain and Intellectual Capital

Past Presentations
Globalization Not New; Look at Slave Trade
Where is Africa Going Wrong?
Ideas, Not Money, Alleviate Poverty
Ideas Are Capital, The Rest is Just Money
How Do We Reverse the Brain Drain?
The Future of the Internet

A typical university lecture ... 

Emeagwali has given powerful keynote addresses at leading institutions, including M.I.T. and the Universities of Paris and London. For example, a recent speech had three sub-themes, each 10-15 minutes long. The first, “Out of Africa,” was a reading from his forthcoming autobiography — a compelling first-hand account of what Bill Clinton described as a rich story of triumph about a child-soldier who won a scholarship to the United States and from a refugee camp to the United Nations' Gallery of Prominent Refugees.

The second segment was a reflection on his scientific discoveries, which have made him a widely popular historical subject for elementary and high school student reports. He also discusses the contributions of the scientific history-makers of yesterday and tomorrow. Please click on the video below to watch his 30-minute television interview on people who have made scientific history.

The third was a very futuristic, timely and trendy prediction on the future of the Internet which he presented in a manner that informed, enlightened and entertained!  Please click on the video below to watch a five-minute excerpt in which he explains how the present creates the future, while our image of the future inspires the present.

What is his speaking fee?
We use a sliding fee structure: large corporations pay 100 percent ($60,000), while non-profits contribute 10 percent to cover our expenses. Examples of non-profit organizations include African Students Associations and Black History Month lectures. In U.S. colleges, the Student Activity Board will likely pay the $6,000 expense because it was prepaid by members of African [or Black] Students Union as “tuition and fees.” Most speaking engagements on college campuses involve collaborations with offices, departments, and clubs. Co-sponsorships stretches the budget while increasing the pool of people that will attend his lecture. 

What will a video-conference cost?
Lectures delivered by video-conference from the Washington, D.C., office require the sponsor to pay production and rental costs of $6,000.

Get Them Ready To Hear Emeagwali
A "pre-introduction" as simple as sending them to emeagwali.com in advance of the meeting will ensure that your room would be full of people expecting an evening of stimulating conversation with new ideas. His name will draw people to your conference. It also gives the attendees a sense of identity with Philip Emeagwali and by the time he arrives at your convention they will rush to get his autographs. The photo ops will be cherished in the coming decades.

Who is Philip Emeagwali?

The following is a TIME magazine profile.

P H I L I P     E M E A G W A L I
A     C a l c u l a t i n g     M o v e    

It's hard to say who invented the Internet. There were many mathematicians and scientists who contributed to its development; computers were sending signals to each other as early as the 1950s. But the Web owes much of its existence to Philip Emeagwali, a math whiz who came up with the formula for allowing a large number of computers to communicate at once.

Emeagwali was born to a poor family in Akure, Nigeria, in 1954. Despite his brain for math, he had to drop out of school because his family, who had become war refugees, could no longer afford to send him. As a young man, he earned a general education certificate from the University of London and later degrees from George Washington University and the University of Maryland, as well as a doctoral fellowship from the University of Michigan.

At Michigan, he participated in the scientific community's debate on how to simulate the detection of oil reservoirs using a supercomputer. Growing up in an oil-rich nation and understanding how oil is drilled, Emeagwali decided to use this problem as the subject of his doctoral dissertation. Borrowing an idea from a science fiction story about predicting the weather, Emeagwali decided that rather than using 8 expensive supercomputers he would employ thousands of microprocessors to do the computation.

The only step left was to find 8 machines and connect them. (Remember, it was the 80s.) Through research, he found a machine called the Connection Machine at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which had sat unused after scientists had given up on figuring out how to make it simulate nuclear explosions. The machine was designed to run 65,536 interconnected microprocessors. In 1987, he applied for and was given permission to use the machine, and remotely from his Ann Arbor, Michigan, location he set the parameters and ran his program. In addition to correctly computing the amount of oil in the simulated reservoir, the machine was able to perform 3.1 billion calculations per second.

The crux of the discovery was that Emeagwali had programmed each of the microprocessors to talk to six neighboring microprocessors at the same time.

The success of this record-breaking experiment meant that there was now a practical and inexpensive way to use machines like this to speak to each other all over the world. Within a few years, the oil industry had seized upon this idea, then called the Hyperball International Network creating a virtual world wide web of ultrafast digital communication.

The discovery earned him the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers' Gordon Bell Prize in 1989, considered the Nobel Prize of computing, and he was later hailed as one of the fathers of the Internet. Since then, he has won more than 100 prizes for his work and Apple computer has used his microprocessor technology in their Power Mac G4 model. Today he lives in Washington with his wife and son.

"The Internet as we know it today did not cross my mind," Emeagwali told TIME. "I was hypothesizing a planetary-sized supercomputer and, broadly speaking, my focus was on how the present creates the future and how our image of the future inspires the present."

[Reprinted from http://www.time.com/time/2007/blackhistmth/bios/04.html] 

Audio Visual Requirements

• Wireless Lavaliere Microphone
• Two High-End Laptop Computers** (running Windows VISTA)
• Two Mobile Laptop Stands
• Three Bottles of Water

** Please note that the speaker will bring his own laptops if none is available. Please discuss/confirm laptop requirements directly with the Speaker.

Publicity Photos:

Philip Emeagwali Head Shot [with flower] http://picasaweb.google.com/emeagwali/PhotosForDownload/photo#5012247392638130722

Philip Emeagwali Head Shot 2 http://picasaweb.google.com/emeagwali/PhotosForDownload/photo#5012916677391868178

Philip Emeagwali Head Shot 3 http://picasaweb.google.com/emeagwali/PhotosForDownload/photo#5012861113399958226

Philip Emeagwali Stand & Deliver Shot http://picasaweb.google.com/emeagwali/PhotosForDownload/photo#5013257629075695362

Philip Emeagwali from Above http://picasaweb.google.com/emeagwali/PhotosForDownload/photo#5012321781471697538

Philip Emeagwali African Traditional http://picasaweb.google.com/emeagwali/PhotosForDownload/photo#5012864583733533410 http://picasaweb.google.com/emeagwali/PhotosForDownload/photo#5012828768001252018 http://picasaweb.google.com/emeagwali/PhotosForDownload/photo#5012132334759237794

Philip Emeagwali Speaking  http://picasaweb.google.com/emeagwali/PhotosForDownload/photo#5012320815104055890

Philip Emeagwali Three-Quarter Shot http://picasaweb.google.com/emeagwali/PhotosForDownload/photo#5012321025557453410 http://picasaweb.google.com/emeagwali/PhotosForDownload/photo#5012321424989411954

Philip Emeagwali Full Shot http://picasaweb.google.com/emeagwali/PhotosForDownload/photo#5012133584594721026

Philip Emeagwali Library Shot http://picasaweb.google.com/emeagwali/PhotosForDownload/photo#5012246387615783426

Philip Emeagwali Outdoor Shot http://picasaweb.google.com/emeagwali/PhotosForDownload/photo#5012131935327279234

Publicity Posters:

Philip Emeagwali Photo Album: http://picasaweb.google.com/emeagwali/PhotosForDownload

BILL CLINTON on Philip Emeagwali






How to book him?
Simply phone, fax or e-mail the speaker's bureau that emailed you this e-brochure or complete his booking form  http://emeagwali.com/utilities/forms/book-emeagwali.html


Black History Month                                                                                                                           MLK Day                                                                                                                                     Africa Day Lecture

Speakers Contract

Speakers Contract

Speaker Introduction

Bureau Friendly Site

Have a great meeting!