Cv Abridged 07 July 2009 Prof Sospeter M Muhongo Unesco Dg Candidate
U N IT ED RE P U B LI C OF T A NZ AN I A
Candidate for the post of Director General of UNESCO
Visionary Leadership – Excellent Management Skills – Transparency – Innovation – Efficiency - High Impact Delivery
Professor Sospeter Muhongo – A RÉSUMÉ
A Tanzanian national, born in Musoma on 25.06.1954,
Prof Sospeter Muhongo 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
(ICSU ROA, www.icsu-africa.org / www.icsu.org). Among other
positions held, he is Chair of the Science Programme Committee
(SPC) of the UN-proclaimed International Year of Planet Earth
(IYPE), Vice President of the Commission of the Geological Map of
the World (CGMW), 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 also co-Editor of a book (2009, in press) entitled “Science,
Technology and Innovation for Socio-Economic Development: Success Stories from Africa.”
An efficient, innovative and result-oriented leader, Prof Muhongo has had great success in initiating and
implementing well-focused and high-impact scientific projects. He has excellent management skills and is an
experienced science advisor and policy-maker, and has also very successfully raised funds for scientific
projects and programmes. His track record of creating sustainable scientific networks is excellent.
Prof Muhongo believes in employing Science Diplomacy to address the common challenges and problems
He 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. Prof Muhongo has
served on numerous professional and academic Regional (Africa)/International Review Panels and
Prof Muhongo 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 was awarded Fellowship of the Society in
1998. In 2006, Prof. Muhongo was presented with the prestigious 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 prestigious “Honours Award”, for his meritorious contribution to the Earth Science profession.
He graduated with BSc Honours 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
Sospeter Muhongo, 07 July 2009
University of Berlin (Dr.rer.nat.). His outstanding performance during his undergraduate studies earned him
the Vice-Chancellor’s Prize (1977) and the Gondwana Prize (1979). Since 1999 Prof Muhongo has been
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.
In addition to his association with geological societies in Africa, Prof. Muhongo is a Fellow and a Chartered
Geologist of the Geological Society of London (FGS, CGeol), a recognized European Geologist (EurGeol), an
Honorary Research Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (FCAGS), a Fellow of the African
Academy of Sciences (FAAS), a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (FTWAS), a
Fellow of the Gondwana Institute for Geology and Environment (FGIGE), a Member of the Academy of
Science of South Africa (MASSAf), and a Member of the Geological Society of America (GSA). He is also
member of numerous other professional societies.
He is author or co-author of over 150 scientific articles and technical papers, including publications in
international journals with high citation indices, and has co-authored the publication of the highly
acknowledged geological and mineral maps of Africa, East Africa and Tanzania. Prof Muhongo is also a
sought-after speaker on global Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) issues and has been invited to give
more than 200 keynote speeches at international conferences in Africa, America, Asia and Europe over
Over the past two decades Prof. Muhongo has co-organized over 100 international scientific and policy
conferences, including those of UNESCO and ICSU in Africa, Asia and Europe, and has supported and
contributed to a number of international scientific programmes. These include the International Year of
Planet Earth (IYPE), the Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) Geohazards Peer Review Team, the
International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) International Advisory Group of Experts on Geological Heritage,
the International Commission for Earth Science in Africa (ICESA), the Research and Development Advisory
Committee on Management of Natural Resources Research (COSTECH, Tanzania), the International
Association for Gondwana Research, and the Advisory Board of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing
World (TWAS), Third World Network of Scientific Organizations (TWNSO), United Development Programme-
South-South Cooperation (UNDP-SSC) project on Disaster Mitigation in Small Island Developing States
(SIDS). Prof Muhongo is a member of the new International Award Committee of the American Geophysical
Union (AGU) for the 2008-2010 term, and was a member of the Nominations Committee of the International
Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) reporting directly to the IUGS Executive Committee. He presently sits
on the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) Membership Selection Committee for the
Prof Muhongo has, as a result, established excellent and reliable worldwide contacts with senior scholars,
government officials, politicians and business executives. He intensively mentors young scientists, engineers
and technologists around the world and has developed a special interest in the application of science,
research, technology and innovation for the sustainable socio-economic development of the global society.
He is married to Bertha (BSc, MSc, MBA), has a son (Rukonge, BA Law/LLB student), and is guardian to
Prof Sospeter Muhongo and UNESCO – KEY MILESTONES
2008: Prof Muhongo delivered keynote address on ‘Geohazards: minimizing risk, maximizing awareness’, at
the UNESCO Headquarters during the Global Launch Event of the UN-proclaimed International Year of Planet
Earth (IYPE), February 2008. UNESCO and IUGS are the lead organizations of this global scientific initiative.
2007: Elected Chair of the IYPE Science Programme Committee (SPC)
2007: Instrumental in facilitating contacts between UNESCO and the Government of the United Republic of
Tanzania to enable the latter to present IYPE documents to UNESCO’s Executive Board and, subsequently, to
the UN General Assembly
The International Year of Planet Earth (2007-2009) aims to capture people’s imagination with the
exciting knowledge we possess about our Planet, and to enable that knowledge to be used to make
the Earth a safer, healthier and wealthier place for our children and grandchildren. The UN sees the
Year as a contribution to their sustainable development targets as it promotes the wise (sustainable)
use of Earth materials and encourages better planning and management to reduce risks for the
world’s inhabitants. The United Republic of Tanzania tabled the IYPE agenda before the UN General
Assembly (Resolution 60/192).
2007: Presented a Joint Statement, on behalf of himself and the five other co-Chairpersons of UNESCO’s six
Intergovernmental/International Scientific programmes, to the Director General and the 24th Session of the
General Conference of UNESCO.
2007: Member of the International Advisory Committee of UNESCO’s COVIDSET 2007 Conference (Midrand,
South Africa, 25-27 September 2007): Second African Regional Conference of Vice-Chancellors, Provosts and
Deans of Science, Engineering and Technology.
2006: Elected to the Membership Selection Committee for Earth Sciences, Academy of Sciences for the
Developing World (TWAS). TWAS works closely with UNESCO and, through its own Regional Office for
Africa; is also a working partner of the International Council for Science Regional Office for Africa (ICSU
2005: Appointed Vice President of the Commission of the Geological Map of the World (CGMW). CGMW is a
close working partner of UNESCO.
2005: Appointed Regional Director of the International Council for Science Regional Office for Africa (ICSU
ROA, www.icsu-africa.org). ICSU is a close working partner of UNESCO. Within a period of three years
(2005-2008), Prof Muhongo championed the preparation, publication and implementation of the four ICSU
science plans for sub-Saharan Africa, namely: Sustainable Energy, Health and Human Well-being, Natural
and Human induced Hazards and Disasters, and Global Environmental Change (including Climate Change
2004: Elected Chair of the UNESCO/IUGS/IGCP Scientific Board. During his tenure (2004-2008) the Board
changed its approach to its science projects from that traditionally adopted, viz. a “classical earth science
approach”, to a modern inter- and multidisciplinary approach.
2001: Appointed a member of the UNESCO/IUGS/IGCP Scientific Board.
2001: Appointed a member of the International Advisory Group of Experts on Geological Heritage, a global
initiative involving IUGS and UNESCO.
1995: Elected President of the Geological Society of Africa (GSAf), a position he held for two terms (1995-
2001). GSAf continues to work closely with the UNESCO Regional Office for Africa in promoting earth science
education and research throughout the continent.
1994: Editor and/or co-editor (1994-1999) of Special Journal Issues (Gondwana Research Journal & Journal
of African Earth Sciences, published by Elsevier) and Conference Proceedings of UNESCO/IUGS/IGCP
Project No. 348.
1993: Project Leader of UNESCO/IUGS/IGCP Project No. 348: The Mozambique and Related Proterozoic
Belts. The project (1993-1997) recorded important achievements, including the establishment of durable
scientific research partnerships between Africa and the rest of the world. Prof Muhongo continues to be
actively associated with numerous UNESCO/IUGS/IGCP projects, especially those dealing with the geology
and mineral resources of the African continent.
1991: Editor, UNESCO Bulletin, Geology for Economic Development, Volume 8.
1981: Prof Muhongo was a key participant in UNESCO Geotraverse Project (1981-83), undertaken in
Tanzania and Belgium and involving close collaboration between Tanzanian and Belgian geologists.
Prof Sospeter M. Muhongo (Dr.rer.nat.)
FAAS, FGSAf, FGIGE, FTWAS, FCAGS, MASSAf, FGS, CGeol, EurGeol.
ICSU Regional Office for Africa
P.O. Box 13252
Pretoria, 0028 South Africa
Tel: +27-12-481 4090 / +27-12-481 4139 (Office)
+27-82-555 8326 (Mobile)
Fax: +27-12-481 4237
Website: www.icsu-africa.org 07 July 2009
Prof Sospeter Muhongo is the best possible candidate for the position of UNESCO DG capable of
invigorating the UNESCO agenda of "science for the socio-economic benefit of the global society",
and who is mindful of the political diversity of its membership