The idea of an independent think-tank which is committed to action-based research, advocacy, training and practical action on grassroots development originated from Professor Andrew G. Onokerhoraye in consultation with members of Benin Social Science Research Group, which he headed for fifteen years. Andrew G. Onokerhoraye was educated at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria where he obtained his first degree in geography in 1970 and at the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1974. He has since been involved in grassroots research in Nigeria, focusing on issues of equity in development as it affects the poor and the disadvantaged. He has published over 25 books and more than 100 academic papers. He has also obtained individual grants from national and international agencies to direct over 200 projects that have influenced public policy in Nigeria. In 1995 the Delta State Government of Nigeria awarded him the highest intellectual honour, Delta State Merit Award, for his application of research results to grassroots development in Nigeria. Andrew Onokerhoraye has held key management positions in the University system in Nigeria. He was Head, Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Benin, 1981-1985. Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Benin 1986-1990, Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics, University of Benin 1990-1992, and Vice Chancellor, University of Benin 1992-1998. He was a visiting scholar, Departments of Population and International Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 1998/99. He returned to Nigeria in august 1999, where he is now the Executive Chairman of CPED. His Wide experience in managing academic institutions has been an asset in the capacity building of CPED. Under his leadership, more than 35 major projects have been successfully managed with grant/funding from both local and international partners. Professor Andrew G. Onokerhoraye and those of his collaborator's dream is that the Centre remains sustainable for many generations to come.