Inaugural Lecture: Professor Samuel Agyei-Mensah

Inaugural Lecture: Finding Space for African Population Health

Professor Samuel Agyei-Mensah

The concept of space in its multiple forms, is central to the theoretical and methodological foundations of health and population geography. In this lecture, I examine the way space has shaped and continues to shape our understanding of population and health issues in Africa, and explore the unique contribution to be derived from closer linkages between population health and spatial analysis. Methods and models are needed that link individual and aggregate analyses, bridge geographic scales, and couple space and time. These approaches would augment theory, advise policy, and address the existing dearth of knowledge; but  call for new methods of data collection and also have implications for population and health training. Illustrations will be drawn from my individual and collaborative work on population and health issues within the Ghanaian and African contexts. 

Exhibition of Works: 2 - 6 November 2015



Professor Samuel Agyei-Mensah, a Professor in the Department of Geography and Resource Development, is the first Provost of the College of Humanities, University of Ghana. He earlier served as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Head, Department of Geography and Resource Development. He has held visiting appointments and research affiliations at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand; Ohio State University, USA; Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden; Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and the University of Flensburg, Germany. Professor Agyei-Mensah has an undergraduate degree in Geography with Philosophy from the University of Ghana (1986) and Ph.D in Geography from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway (1997).

Professor Agyei-Mensah has received several grants, awards and recognition for his teaching and professional work, including the Distinguished Award for Meritorious Service, 2012 from the University of Ghana. His scholarly interests span the fields of geography, epidemiology and development studies. He is currently involved in a variety of research projects, which include poverty, energy and air pollution in Accra (sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Office of Research and Innovation (ORID), University of Ghana; studies of residential segregation and ethnic assimilation in major Ghanaian cities; demographic and epidemiological transition in Accra, Ghana; fertility decline in sub-Saharan Africa; and more recently the project on ‘urban transition in Ghana’ funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), U.S.A.

Professor Agyei-Mensah is a member of the Population Association of America, the Association of American Geographers, the Union of African Population Studies, and the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population. He serves on the Commission on Population Geography of the International Geographical Union (IGU). He also serves on the international advisory board of Population and Environment (Springer). In recent years he has participated and  presented papers at major international conferences including the Symposium on Environment and Health organized by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF), Ethiopian Academy of Sciences (EAS), Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Pretoria, South Africa, 1-3 June 2015; the Workshop on Recent Trends in Fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa organized by the National Academy of Sciences (USA) Washington, DC, 15-16 June 2015; and the Second Meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Platform on Air Quality and Health, WHO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland, 18-20 August 2015.

 His publications have appeared in scientific journals such as Population, Space and Place; International Journal of Urban and Regional Research; Canadian Journal of African Studies; Annals of the Association of American Geographers; and Journal of Urban Health. Prof. Agyei-Mensah has recently co-edited two books- Changing Perspectives on the Social Sciences in Ghana (Dordrecht, Springer 2014) and  Explaining Fertility Differences in Sub-Saharan Africa published by Edwin Mellen Press, New York,  U.S.A (2014).

Click here to view publications