My Mabogunje


August 15, 2022

Akinlawon Ladipo Mabogunje, born October 18, 1931 and died August 4, 2022 in Lagos, was a Nigerian geographer, specialist in urbanization in developing countries and urban planning. He is the first African president of the International Geographical Union (1980-1984) and the first African winner of the Vautrin-Lud prize (2017).


Akin Mabogunje studied at the University of Ibadan (Nigeria) then at University College London where he obtained a degree in geography. He has mainly taught at the University of Ibadan but has taught at various British, Swedish, Brazilian and American universities. Akin Mabogunje has also worked for various Nigerian public services or international organizations, notably as chairman of the Western State Forestry Commission (1968-74), chairman of the National Council for Management Development (1976-79), consultant for the World Bank and the program United Nations for development. He chairs the International Geographical Union and, in 1999, was the first African to be elected as a foreign associate member of the US National Academy of Sciences. He is also an Honorary Corresponding Member of the Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences, Class of Human Sciences. Active within the International Geographical Union, he was vice-president three times and then elected president for the period 1980-1984.


Mabogunje, A.L. (et al.) (2000). Sustainability Science, Harvard University [3] Mabogunje, A.L. (1991). A new paradigm for urban development. The World Bank Economic Review, 5(suppl 1), 191-208. Mabogunje, A.L. (1990). Urban planning and the post-colonial state in Africa: a research overview. African Studies Review, 33(02), 121-203. Mabogunje, A.L. (1989). The development process: A spatial perspective. Unwin Hyman. Mabogunje, A.L. (1977). Cities and social order. University of Ibadan. Mabogunje, A.L. (1974). Towards an urban policy in Nigeria. The Nigerian Journal of Economic and Social Studies, 16(1), 85-98. Mabogunje, A.L. (1972). Regional mobility and resource development in West Africa. McGill-Queen's Press-MQUP. Mabogunje, A.L. (1970). Systems approach to a theory of rural‐urban migration. Geographical analysis, 2(1), 1-18. Mabogunje, A.L. (1969). Urbanization in Nigeria. Holmes & Meier Pub.

Awards and Honors

Honorary doctorate from the Stockholm School of Economics (1973) Honorary doctorate from Michigan State University (1976) Doctor honoris causa from the University of Benin (now University of Lomé) (1995) International Geographical Union Medal of Honor (1992) Doctor honoris causa from Olabisi-Onabanjo University (1996) Vautrin-Lud Prize (2017)


Commander of the Nigerian National Order of Merit (1980)

Further reading

(en-US) Michael Olanrewaju Filani and Stanley I Okafor, Foundations for urban development in Africa: the legacy of Akin Mabogunje, Washington, World Bank, October 1, 2006 (read online)

Notes and References

External links

Geography Portal Nigeria Portal