Abdul-Gafar holds a PhD in Social Sciences from KU Leuven and currently lectures in the Department of Political Science, Lagos State University (LASU). His research interests broadly revolve around international relations, comparative politics and development studies – with strong bias for China in Africa, the ‘youth question’ and nation building in multi-ethnic countries, and qualitative methodologies. A former journalist at Vanguard newspaper, he was a fellow of the Social Science Research Council’s (SSRC) Next Generation of Social Science in Africa programme (2013-2014) and a University of Edinburgh's Centre for African Studies Catalyst Fellow and Non-Residential Catalyst Fellow (2019-2020). His PhD research – on the contemporary relevance of Ghana’s national youth service programme – at the multidisciplinary Centre for Research on Peace and Development in Leuven was fully sponsored by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and the Leuven Special Fund. He has recently been offered the American Council of Learned Societies African Humanities Program (ACLS/AHP) postdoctoral fellowship (2020-2021) to conduct research for his first book entitled ‘Imageries of Mao Zedong's China in Ghanaian newspapers, 1957-1976.’ He is a co-founder of Conflict Research Network West Africa (CORN - West Africa). Abdul-Gafar has published several articles and presented his research findings at major conferences in Africa, Europe and North America.