Biographical Information for Sospeter Muhongo

Sospeter Muhongo has been nominated by Tanzania as a candidate for the post of Director General of UNESCO. Here is some biographical information about him:

He was born in Musoma town, Tanzania on 25.06.1954. He is married to Bertha, has a son Rukonge, and is guardian to three orphans.

He is currently based in Pretoria, South Africa, where he is the first and founding Regional Director of the International Council for Science Regional Office for Africa. Among other positions held, he is Chair of the Science Program Committee of the UN-proclaimed International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE), Vice President of the Commission of the Geological Map of the World, Immediate Past Chair of the UNESCO/IUGS/IGCP Scientific Board and member of the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) Science and Technology Advisory Group. He has been recently elected to Chair the Steering Committee of the EU-funded project, “African-European Georesources Observation System (AEGOS).”

Prof Muhongo is co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of African Earth Sciences (Elsevier), Associate Editor of the Precambrian Research Journal (Elsevier) and is also co-Editor of a book (2009, in press) entitled “Science, Technology and Innovation for Socio-Economic Development: Success Stories from Africa.”

He was Head of the Department of Geology at the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania from 1997 to 2000 and is currently Honorary Professor of Geology at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. In the 1990s he was instrumental in raising the profile of the Geological Society of Africa (GSAf) and served as its President from 1995 to 2001. He was the first recipient (2004) of the Society’s Robert Shackleton Award for Outstanding Research on the Precambrian Geology of Africa and he was awarded Fellowship of the Society in 1998.

In 2006, Prof. Muhongo was presented with the National Award for Outstanding Research in Science and Technology (S&T) in Tanzania, and in 2007 The Geological Society of South Africa conferred upon him its “Honours Award”, for his contributions to the Earth Science profession.

Prof Muhongo has undertaken more than 100 contract scientific research projects and has rendered consultancy services in the mineral industry and on environmental issues and policy matters.

He graduated with a BSc Honours Degree in Geology from the University of Dar Es Salaam in 1979 where he founded and chaired the Geological Association of Students (1977). He then undertook postgraduate studies in Germany between 1980 and 1990 at the University of Göttingen (MSc research), and at the Technical University of Berlin (Dr.rer.nat.). He was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Prize (1977) and the Gondwana Prize (1979).

Since 1999 Prof Muhongo has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tanzanian State Mining Corporation (STAMICO) and in 2002 was Chairman of the Tanzanian Government Commission of Inquiry into the deadliest tanzanite mine accident.

He is the author or co-author of over 150 scientific articles and technical papers, and has co-authored the publication of the highly acknowledged geological and mineral maps of Africa, East Africa and Tanzania. Prof Muhongo has been invited to give more than 200 keynote speeches at international conferences in Africa, America, Asia and Europe. He has co-organized over 100 international scientific and policy conferences, including those of UNESCO and ICSU in Africa, Asia and Europe.

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