Friday 5 August 2022

Professor Akin Mabogunje passes away at 90

Facts have emerged that Nigeria’s first Geography professor, Professor Akin Mabogunje died at the age of 90 years in his sleep.

Mabogunje’s daughter and former acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Folasade Ogunsola confirmed his father’s death.

According to her, he died in his sleep on Thursday,

“I can confirm it. Baba died in Lagos in his sleep this morning,” she said.

Mabogunje was born in 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.

In 1968, Mabogunje wrote Urbanization in Nigeria, about urbanization and state formation. In the book, Mabogunje argued that the existence of specialists was not sufficient to cause urbanization.

Mabogunje described 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.

He was the Chairman of Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy and mentor to its founder Tunji Olaopa.

[PM News]

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