Professor Sospeter Muhongo, a Tanzanian, is the founding and current Regional Director of the ICSU (International Council for Science) Regional Office for Africa. He is the Chair of the Science Programme Committee (SPC) of the UN-proclaimed International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE). Prof. Muhongo is the Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the Scientific, Technical and Research Commission of the African Union (AU-STRC). He is the Chairperson of the UNESCO/IUGS/IGCP Scientific Board and the Vice President of the Commission of the Geological Map of the World (CGMW).
Muhongo is a Full Professor of geology, a Chartered Geologist (UK), and the first recipient (2004) of the Robert Shackleton Award for Outstanding Research in the Precambrian Geology of Africa. In 2006, Prof. Muhongo won the prestigious National Award for Outstanding Research in S&T in Tanzania. In 2007, the Geological Society of South Africa conferred the prestigious “Honours Award” upon Muhongo for his meritorious contribution to the Earth Science profession. He is an Honorary Professor of Geology at the University of Pretoria (South Africa). He was the President of the Geological Society of Africa (1995-a2001) and Head of Department of Geology of the University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (1997-2000).
Muhongo obtained his B.Sc. (Hons) geology degree from the University of Dar Es Salaam in 1979 and undertook postgraduate studies at the Universities of Göttingen (M.Sc. research) and TU Berlin (Dr.rer.nat.) in Germany. His outstanding performance during his B.Sc. studies won him the Vice-Chancellor’s Prize (1977) and the Gondwana Prize (1979) at the University of Dar Es Salaam. Prof. Muhongo is a Fellow and a Chartered Geologist of the Geological Society of London, an Honorary Research Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the Geological Society of Africa, a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, a Fellow of the Gondwana Institute for Geology and Environment, and a Fellow of the Academy of Science of South Africa. He is a recognized European Geologist and a member of other numerous high-standing and learned professional societies.
Prof. Muhongo is the author or co-author of over 150 scientific articles and technical papers and has co-authored the publication of large-scale geological maps of Africa, East Africa and Tanzania. He has been invited to give more than 200 keynote speeches in international conferences held in Africa, America, Asia, and Europe. He has co-organized over 50 international scientific and policy conferences in Africa, Asia, and Europe, including those of UNESCO and the African Union (AU). He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of African Earth Sciences (Elsevier) and an Associate Editor of the Precambrian Research Journal (Elsevier).
Prof. Muhongo has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the State Mining Corporation (STAMICO) of Tanzania since 1999. He has also aided in a long list of international scientific programmes, the IGOS Geoharzards Peer Review Team, the IGCP International Advisory Group of Experts on Geological Heritage, the International Commission for Earth Science in Africa (ICESA), the R&D Advisory Committee on Management of Natural Resources Research (COSTECH, Tanzania), and the International Association for Gondwana Research. He is a member of TWAS’s Membership Selection Committee for Earth Sciences category and of the Advisory Board of TWAS/TWNSO/UNDP-SSC on Disaster Mitigation in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). He is a Member of the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) New International Award Committee for the 2006-2008 term. He is also a member of the Nominating Committee, for the Executive Committee, of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), an ex-officio member of the Pan-African Committee (PACOM) for START (global change SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training), and a member of the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) S&T Advisory Group.