President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania has appointed Sospeter Muhongo, a renowned geologist as the country’s new minister of energy and minerals.
Until his appointment, Muhongo was a full Professor of Geology at the University of Dar Es Salaam, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of African Earth Sciences, Vice President, Commission for the Geological Map of the World, Honorary Fellow, Geological Society of London and Honorary Research Fellow, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences.
Muhongo was the first recipient in 2004 of the Robert Shackleton Award for Outstanding Research in the Precambrian Geology of Africa. He has been teaching and doing research at the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania since 1979. His research interests are in tectonics, structural geology, petrology, geochronology and economic geology of Precambrian terrains. He has held key positions in numerous national and international organisations. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of Africa (GSAf), Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), the Gondwana Institute for Geology and Environment (GIGE, Japan) as well as the Geological Society of London (GSL).
In Tanzania, he has been chair of the Board of Directors of the State Mining Corporation (STAMICO) and was Head of Geology at the University of Dar Es Salaam between 1997 and 2000. He has published over 100 scientific articles and technical papers.
He was the founder and first Executive Director of the International Council for Science (ICSU)- Africa Region. ICSU is a non-governmental organization with a global membership of national scientific bodies (121 members) and international scientific unions.
In 2009, he was among the nominated candidates from Tanzania, for the post of Director General for UNESCO. He also received the Tanzanian National Award (TAST Award) for Outstanding Research in Science & Technology, Tanzania, 2006 from the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) and in 2011, he was conferred with the French academic excellence award known as Order des Palmes Academiques, with a grade of Officier (Officer), the order of merit that was originally established by French Emperor Napoleon.
The appointment according to him “is an exciting time calling for quality delivery for the prosperity of the African continent and the rest of the world.”