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Professor Akinwumi Ogundiran

The largest African archaeological association in the world, the Society of Africanist Archaeologists, has elected Professor Akinwumi Ogundiran as its 18th president. Professor Ogundiran, an eminent archaeologist and historian, will be the first Nigerian to lead the 51-year-old organization.



Archaeologists are professionals who use ancient objects to write history and study past cultures.

The Society of Africanist Archaeologists is an organization of more than 1,500 members from all over the world. It is dedicated to the study of Africa’s deep history and archaeology. Its members are known for making major archaeological discoveries all over Africa.


In a statement released by the Nominations and Elections Committee of the organization, Professor Ogundiran received the majority votes in a pool of three candidates who vied for the presidency position. Dr. Kolawole Adekola of the University of Ibadan and a member of the elections committee noted that the election of Professor Ogundiran to lead a renowned international organization at this time demonstrates the impacts of Nigerian archaeologists in the world and the role that Professor Ogundiran has played in advancing the study of Nigerian history and archaeology globally.

Professor Akin Ogundiran has thanked the world organization for their confidence in him. He promised to work hard to advance the mission of the organization. “I will use my tenure as president of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists to “prioritize working with African and other international partners on initiatives to preserve African archaeological heritage sites and integrate these concerns into policy-making processes. I will also use my position to facilitate collaboration among Africans and their counterparts in Europe, America, Asia, and other continents.”


Professor Ogundiran is a native of Ibadan. He attended Okusehinde Primary School, Aremo, in Ibadan, and African Church Grammar School, Abeokuta. He earned his B.A. (First Class Honors) from Obafemi Awolowo University, M.Sc. from the University of Ibadan, and Ph.D. from Boston University in the United States.

The eminent scholar is widely known for his groundbreaking research on Yoruba history and the African Diaspora, leading to the publication of six books and more than 60 other publications. His recent book, The Yoruba: A New History, won two awards, the Vinson Sutlive Prize & Isaac Delano Prize.

Professor Ogundiran is a highly decorated scholar. He is the Editor-in-Chief of African Archaeological Review, the leading journal in African archaeology. He is also a seasoned administrator who served as the Department of Africana Studies Chair for more than 10 years at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, United States. Until recently, he held one of the university’s three Chancellor Professorship titles.


He is scheduled to take up an endowed professor chair at Northwestern University in September. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the prestigious Dumbarton Oaks, a major research center in Washington DC, United States, and a Visiting Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology at his alma mater, the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

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