Art and Life

Prof Agbakoba wins prestigious Georg Forster (International) Research Award

By Victor Anazonwu

Access Bank

Distinguished Nigerian academic, Professor Joseph Chemeka Achike Agbakoba, has been announced as recipient of the 2022 Georg Forster Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany.


Professor Agbakoba, of the department of Philosophy at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), is a pioneer researcher and teacher in the field of development philosophy and ethics for Africa. He has to his credit over 60 publications in reputable national and international journals and publishing houses, and is the first African philosopher to receive this award.


Georg Forster Research Awards are given each year to not more than six scholars and scientists in any discipline from 137 countries of the developing world (comprising Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania). It is in recognition of outstanding lifetime work in research and teaching.


“It is heartwarming to be recognized for one’s humble contributions. Coming from the Humboldt Foundation makes it a special treat. I dedicate this award to all teachers and researchers in Nigeria currently seeking to make our universities more globally competitive,” said Agbakoba, in obvious reference to a seven-month long dispute between lecturers and government over funding arrangements for Nigeria’s public universities.


Agbakoba’s latest book, Development and Modernity in Africa: An Intercultural Philosophical Perspective, was published in 2019 in Köln, Germany, by Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. The book is widely acclaimed for its groundbreaking insights into why African cultures reacted the way they did to the slave trades and to European colonization.


Born in Owerri, Southeast Nigeria, to Engr. Vincent Agbakoba and Mrs. Josephine Agbakoba, a school teacher who later became a dressmaker, Prof Agbakoba attended Santa Maria Primary School Enugu. He later went to Christ the King College (CKC) Onitsha, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife and University of Nigeria Nsukka.


He has been visiting professor and scholar at Goethe University Frankfurt and the University of Cape Coast and has held a number of international scholarships and research fellowships. He has also served as Head of Department of Philosophy and Dean School of General Studies at the University of Nigeria as well as Deputy Vice Chancellor at Madonna University, Nigeria.


He is a former president of the Nigerian Philosophical Association; member of the Committee of Directors, International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP); Regional Coordinator (Africa), Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (CRVP), Washington DC; Vice President for Africa of Conférence Mondiale des Institutions Universitaires Catholiques de Philosophie (COMIUCAP).


Prof Agbakoba will join other Georg Forster Award winners to be honored at an event to be held later in Germany. Winners are also invited to conduct a research project of their choice at a research institution in Germany in collaboration with specialist colleagues.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (sponsors of the Georg Forster Award) was established in 1953 by the German government to enhance international scientific and scholarly development and collaboration. It sponsors some of the world’s most prestigious fellowships and research awards and has supported a large network of top flight scholars globally, including 57 Nobel Prize winners.




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  1. Congratulations professor Agbakoba.
    More winnings in your career.
    I am happy and privilege to know and work with you.
    You are rare gem

  2. I am happy to be under your tutelage even as a PhD researcher presently. It’s an honour I must say.

    Congratulations Prof. More Grace for more wins

  3. I really can’t believe I’ve ever been lectured by such ‘GREATNESS’. I am really blessed💯
    We love you Prof. Agbakoba

  4. Congratulations Prof. JCA Agbakoba. You are a legendary teacher and an inspiration to me.
    Remain blessed, Prof.

  5. Congratulations, Prof., on this remarkable feat. It is a testament to your unequalled scholarly prowess in the field of development and ethics for Africa. You are ever unflagging and never rested on your laurels. Keep flying high.

    1. Congratulations to one of our best brains, Prof Joseph C.A Agbokaba for an honour well deserved.
      Indeed, excellence pays.

  6. Prof. Agbakoba! Congratulations for this global recognition and award! We are certainly proud of you and your achievements. Keep it up!
    Gerry Ohaeri

  7. Congratulations Prof on this latest award/ global recognition. You are not just an accomplished scholar but a humble and ever-ready- to- help kind of scholar. The cap fits you. So wear it. My family and I wish you more wins and greater recognitions.

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