Professor Akin L. MABOGUNJE
(18 October 1931 to 4 August 2022)
It is with great sadness that ANG announces the death of one its greatest sons, former ANG President Professor Akin Mabogunje. Professor Akinlawon (Akin) Mabogunje died on Thursday, 4 August 2022 at the age of 90 years.
Akin Mabogunje was the first African Professor of Geography and Head of the Department of Geography (1972-1975) at Nigeria’s premier university, the University of Ibadan. During his 23 years of active academic service at the University of Ibadan, he contributed to developing the Geography Department at Ibadan as one, if not the best on the African continent in the 1980s.
He was a renowned scholar who made outstanding contributions to knowledge, policy and practice in the field of urban geography and regional planning. Akin Mabogunje served in different capacities within and outside the shores of Nigeria. He was President, Nigerian Geographical Association (1968-70) and Vice President, Nigerian Economic Society (1972 – 1982). Among other services rendered at the Federal and State levels, he was the Specialist Planning Consultant to the Federal Capital Development Authority in which capacity he undertook the ecological and geographical survey of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the period 1976-1984.
Professor Akin Mabogunje was a recipient of several local and international honours. He was one of the earliest recipients of the Nigerian National Order of Merit in recognition of his academic scholarship and contributions to the development of the country. He was awarded D.Sc. Honoris Causa of the University of Ibadan in 2018.
Internationally, Akin Mabogunje is acknowledged as the most distinguished African geographer to date. Akin Mabogunje served the International Geographical Union (IGU) for two terms as Vice-President (1972-1980) and was elected President of the IGU for the period 1980-1984, the first African scholar to be so honoured since its inception in 100 years. He was the first African to be elected as a Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences (1999). In 2017, he was elected International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Akin Mabogunje was awarded the Vautrin-Lud Prize, the equivalent to the “Nobel Prize in Geography” in Paris in 2017.
The Association of Nigerian Geographers is proud of Professor Akin Mabogunje’s legacy as Africa’s foremost geographer, and his immense contributions to the discipline of geography in Nigeria and globally. His positive influence has transcended different facets of life and multiple generations. We are indeed grateful to God for his very impactful, meaningful and full life.
Professor Akin Mabogunje is survived by his loving wife of some 65 years, Justice Titilola Mabogunje, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
May his gentle soul rest in peace.