Thursday, August 4, 2022 9:33 pm
One of the country’s erudite scholars and a Professor of Geography, Akin Mabogunje is dead.
A niece to the eminent scholar Temilola Visser-Mabogunje broke the news of his demise via her Twitter handle
“My darling uncle, Professor Akin. L. Mabogunje, is no more: 18 October 1931 to 4 August 2022. He left us early this morning. A great man is gone. Brother, our hearts are broken, but you will forever remain in our hearts. Temilola for the Mabogunjes.”
Akinlawon Ladipo “Akin” Mabogunje, Nigerian Geographer, was born on 18 October 1931 in Kano and lived in Sabongari during his primary school years. He then attended Mapo Central School for one year before passing the entrance examination for Ibadan Grammar School. He won the Egbe Omo Oduduwa scholarship to study at the University College, Ibadan, now University of Ibadan, where he later worked as a lecturer. His daughter is Folasade Ogunsola.
He was the first African president of the International Geographical Union. In 1999, he was the first African to be elected as a Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences. In 2017, he was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and received the Vautrin Lud Prize.
As recorded by Connah, Graham (1987), in African Civilizations: Precolonial cities and states in tropical Africa: an archaeological perspective, in 1968, Mabogunje wrote Urbanization in Nigeria, about urbanization and state formation. In the book, Mabogunje argued that the existence of specialists is not sufficient to cause urbanization. Mabogunje describes three “limiting conditions” which are additionally required: a surplus of food production, a small group of powerful people to control the surplus and maintain peace, and a class of traders or merchants who can provide materials to the specialists.
Awards and recognition
He was African president of the International Geographical Union.
In 1999, he was the first African to be elected as a Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences.
In 1968, Mabogunje wrote Urbanization in Nigeria, about urbanization and state formation.
In 2017 he received the Vautrin Lud prize.
He was the Chairman of Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy
He was a member of the Western Nigerian Economic Advisory Council (1967–71);
Member, Federal Public Service Review Commission (1972–74);
Consultant, National Census Board (1973–74);
Chairman, Nigerian Council for Management Development (1976–79);
Consultant, Federal Capital Development Authority (1976–84);
Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Ogun State University, Ago-Iwoye (1982–91);
Member, Board of Directorate of DFRRI (1986–1993);
Member, Board of Trustees Nigerian National Merit Award Endowment Fund (1983–1989) later Chairman of the Fund (1989–94)
Executive Chairman of the National Board for Community Banks (1991–94).
Member of the Board of Directors, Nigerian Agricultural Products Co. Ltd. (1975–76);
Vice-Chairman, Pai Association International (Nig.) (1974–1989);
Vice-Chairman, Board of Directors Pi, International Co. Ltd. (1990)
Chairman, Board of Directors, Fountain Publications (1990-date); Member, Board of Directors, Shonny Investments and Properties Ltd. (1994)
Chairman Board of Directors, First Interstate Merchant Bank (Nig.) Ltd. (1995).