George Benneh - Curriculum Vitae#


George Benneh is an Emeritus Professor of Geography and Resource Development. He was educated at Berekum Catholic Primary School (1941 – 1949) and Achimota Secondary School (1950 – 1956). He was admitted to the University College of Ghana in October 1957. He was one of four students who won the Shell Ghana Independence Scholarships in 1957 to study for the B.A. Degree at the University College of Ghana. He taught geography at Achimota School in 1961 before leaving for postgraduate education in London at the London School of Economics, in October 1961. In 1964 he obtained his PhD London degree.

Appointments at University of Ghana, Legon

Professor George Benneh was appointed Lecturer in the Department of Geography, University of Ghana, Legon in 1964, promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1973, and rose to Associate Professor in 1976 and Full Professorship in 1989. Through his promotion of scholarship and distinguished academic life, Professor Benneh has held all important administrative positions at the University of Ghana, including headship of the Department of Geography and Resource Development, Senior Tutor of the Commonwealth Hall, Dean of the Faculty of Social Studies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Director of Population Impact Project funded by USAID. He was appointed at Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana in 1992 and retired in 1996.

Visiting, Teaching/Research Appointments
  • 1973, 1983, 1996 – Institute of Geography, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 1982 – Senior Fulbright Hayes visiting Professor, Department of Geography, University of Pittsburgh
  • 1982 – Visiting Professor, Department of Geography and Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Economic Development, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
  • 1996 – Distinguished visiting Professor and Guest Speaker at the 50th Anniversary of the Fulbright Hayes Fellowship Anniversary Conference in Atlanta, USA.
  • 1997 – John Cadbury Fellow at Centre for West African Studies, University of Birmingham, UK
  • 1997 – Visiting Lecturer, Department of Geography, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia

National Boards and Committees
  • 1972 – 1974 – Member, Board of Directors of Graphic Corporation of Ghana Chairman of Lands Commission
  • 1980 – Co-Chairman of Planning Committee on the Papal visit to Ghana by His Holiness Pope John Paul II.
  • 1988 – 1992 – Chairman, Board of Directors of Bank of Ghana
  • 1993 – Member of National Development Planning Commission
  • 1997 – 2002 – Chairman, Ghana National Population Council
  • 1997 – 2002 – Chairman, National Council for Tertiary Education
  • 1997 – 2002 – Chairman of Board of Directors, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation
  • 2000 – Chairman, Technical Advisory Committee on the 2000 National Population and Housing Census

International Appointments
  • 1974 – First President of the Federation of African University Sports (FASU)
  • 1993 – President of Association of African Universities
  • 1993 – Member of the Board of Trustees of Population Council, New York
  • 1996 – External Member of the Council of the University of Swaziland
  • 1997 – First Chairman of Africa Regional Council of the International Association of University Presidents
  • 1998 – Chairman of the Experts Advisory Committee on Population, Environment and Food Security, United Nations Economic Commission of Africa
  • 2000 – Vice-chairman of Board of Directors of the African Population Advisory Committee
  • 2001 – Member of Board of Trustees of the World Wildlife Fund

Publications, Participation in Conferences and other Honours
  • Professor Benneh has authored over 13 books and booklets and 70 other publications in Geography, Environment, Land Tenure and Land Use, Population, Education and Public Administration
  • Participation in over 60 International Conferences, Seminars and Workshops including the International Workshop and Rural Poverty Eradication in the 21st Century held in Tokyo in 2000, and the AAU General Conference held in Nairobi in February 2001.
  • Member, New York Academy of Science
  • Fellow, Ghana Academy of Sciences
  • Member, Academia European (European Academy)
  • Adjudged Man of the Year in 1997 by the American Biographical Institute

Awards and Honours

Professor Benneh received the United Nations Global 500 award at the first Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in 1992 for his contribution to teaching and research in the fields of Population and Environment.

Political Appointments

Professor Benneh has served in various political capacities. Among his highest political appointments are the following:
  • 1979 – 1980 – Commissioner for Lands, Natural Resources, Fuel and Power
  • 1979 – 1981 – Minister of Lands, Natural Resources, Fuel and Power
  • 1980 – 1981 – Minister of Finance and Economic Planning


Professor Benneh has consulted for many organisations including the World Bank, United Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UNESCO, United Nations University, UNFPA, Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, Moscow State University, Russia, and the Centre for Development Studies, Travandrum, Kerela, India. He was the Team Leader of UNFPA Population Review and Strategy Development Mission to the Republic of Tanzania in 1991, member of the United Nations University Feasibility Team for the establishment of Research and Training Centre at Lucerne, Switzerland in 1998, and member of the United Nations University International Feasibility Study Group for Research and Training Centre on Nature and Human Security in Bonn, Germany in 2000.

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