Ordinary Academicians

Kokunre A. Agbontaen-Eghafona


Kokunre A. Agbontaen-Eghafona

Date of birth 01 October 1959

Place London, United Kingdom (Europe)

Nomination 26 May 2020

Field Sociology and Anthropology

Title Professor of Cultural Anthropology

  • Biography
  • Publications
  • Self-Presentation

Most important awards, prizes and academies
Membership of Learned Societies: Archaeological Association of Nigeria; Nigerian Field Society; International Society for Benin Studies; Nigerian National Museum Society; West African Archaeological Association; Society for International Relations Awareness; Ethics Committee of College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin. Prizes/Honours/Awards: Best Lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, UNIBEN Award, 1999/2000; SOSSA (Social Science Students Association) Award for Excellent Lecturer – Students Relation and Exemplary Life Style in the Academia, June 2002; Best Lecturer in Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Benin. Vice Chancellor’s Award 2006/2007; Best Lecturer in Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Benin. Vice Chancellor’s Award 2006/2007; SOSSA (Social Science Students Association) Award for Excellent Lecturer. September 2014.

Summary of scientific research
My research interest includes oral literature and ethnography; peoples and cultures of Nigeria and Africa; anthropology of marriage and the family; cultural resource management; indigenous knowledge systems and qualitative research methodology. I have over sixty academic publications mainly in the area of Benin (Nigerian) culture and tradition and have been working in the field of irregular migration since 2003.

I have participated in some research-based consultancies in the field of irregular migration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI); International Organization for Migration (IOM); Walk Free Foundation Research on Modern Slavery Landscape in Nigeria 2014; United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI); National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) and the Salvation Army.

My current scientific activities include measures to combat trafficking in women and girls in Benin City, Nigeria, and counter-trafficking initiatives in Nigeria. I have conducted researches on examination of the role of the family in the trafficking of girls and women in the Benin society (2008/2009); prevailing perception of trafficking, prevention, and anti-trafficking activities among communities in Edo State (2012); Why Benin City? An assessment of Edo State and Benin City endemic areas in trafficking in persons (2012). Trauma healing for victims of human trafficking: the need for a post-trafficking psychosocial package in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria (2016-2018), and transnational remittances from human trafficking and the changing socioeconomic status of women in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria (2016-2019).

Main publications
Agbontaen, K.A. (1988) 'Change and Continuity in Traditional Institutions. The Benin Example” in Africa and the Lakato Hypothesis: Essays in Africa’s Social Archaeology' (Ed. B.W. Andah) Special Book Issue of West African Journal of Archaeology. Vol. 18, pp. 111-124. Ibadan, Nigeria; Obaro O. and K.A. Agbontaen-Eghafona (2003) 'Changes in the Family Institution in Nigeria', Ibom Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 7 No. 1, January, pp. 27-44. Uyo, Nigeria; Eghafona K.A. and J.A. Oluwabamide (2003) 'Eradicating Harmful Cultural Practices Affecting Women’s Health in Nigeria: Problems and Prospects'. Uyo Journal of Humanities, Vol. 8, June, pp. 248-265. Uyo, Nigeria; Okojie C.E.E., O. Okojie, K.A. Eghafona, G. Vincent-Osaghae and V.Kalu/Franco Prina (2004) Trafficking of Nigerian Girls to Italy (Il traffico delle ragazze nigeriane in Italia) UNICRI-United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, Italy; Okpokunu E., K.A. Agbontaen-Eghafona and P.O. Ojo (2005) 'Benin Dressing in Contemporary Nigeria: Social Change and the crisis of Cultural Identity', African Identities, Vol. 3 No. 2: 155-170 (Routledge Taylor & Francis); Ugiagbe E.O, K. Agbontaen-Eghafona and T.B.E. Omorogiuwa (2007) 'An Evaluation of the principles of primogeniture and inheritance laws among the Benin people of Nigeria'. Journal of Family History, Vol. 32, No. (Sage Publications); Emovon S.O., M.I. Ibiezugbe and K.A. Agbontaen-Eghafona (2007) 'Elder Abuse and Neglect: An Explorative Study on the Nature and Cause of Domestic Mistreatment of the Elderly in Benin City Nigeria', Benin Journal of Social Sciences. Vol. 15, No, 1, pp. 158-170; Umweni, A.A., C. Uwadiae and K.A. Agbontaen-Eghafona (2009) 'Dental Implications of Domestic Violence against Nigerian Women: A Case Study' Gender and Behaviour, Volume 7, No. 1; Ofovwe, C.E. and K.A. Agbontaen Eghafona (2009) 'Infertility in Nigeria: A Risk Factor for Gender Based Violence' Gender and Behaviour Volume 7, No. 2; Eghafona K.A (2009) 'The bane of female trafficking in Nigeria: An examination of the role of the family in the Benin society' in Towards a Sane Society, (Ed. A. Awaritefe) Roma publications, Benin City; Okojie Christiana E.E. Monye-Emina, A. Eghafona, K. Osaghae, G. Ehiakhamen, J.O. (2009) 'Institutional Environment and Access to Microfinance by Self-employed Women in the Rural Areas of Edo State, Nigeria'. Nigeria Strategy Support Program, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Project Papers and Briefs » NSSP Background Paper Series number: 3 nsspbp03.pdf; Ogunrin, F.O., F.I.O. Iyayi and K.A. Eghafona (2011). 'Gender Inequality and Human Resource Management: A Nigerian Perspective'. Global Journal of Social Sciences, Vol. 10, No. 1&2, pp 15-24; Igbudu, U., S.O. Okoedion, E.B. Peremene and K.A. Eghafona (2011). 'Religious Beliefs and Family Planning Practices of Married Women in Zone 5, Police Barracks in Nigeria'. Ozean Journal of Social Science, Vol. 4 No. 2. pp 55-61; Oluwabamide A.J. and K.A. Eghafona (2012) 'Addressing the Challenges of Ageing in Africa' in The Anthropologist: International Journal of Contemporary and Applied Studies of Man. 14(1): 61-66; Omorodion F, Akpede E, Maticka-Tyndale E, Eghafona K, Onokerhoraye A. (2012) 'The use of National Youth Service Corp members to build AIDS competent communities in rural Edo State Nigeria”. African Journal of Reproductive Health. 16(2):72-85; Sadoh L.I., Alenkhe O.A. and Agbontaen-Eghafona K. (2013). 'Women's participation in community meetings: Marginalization and its social consequences for development in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area, Edo State'. Journal of Gender Studies, University of Benin, Vol. 3, No. 1&2: pp 157-169; Ikeora M. and Agbontaen-Eghafona K. (2018) 'Human Trafficking: Traditional and Diplomatic Fight Against Modern Slavery'. in O. Onuwaje (ed). The Benin Monarchy: An Anthology of Benin History. pp 539-549 A Publication by Wells-Crimson Limited Publishers; Ohonba Abieyuwa & Agbontaen-Eghafona Kokunre (2019) Transnational Remittances from Human Trafficking and the Changing Socio-Economic Status of Women in Benin City, Edo State Nigeria, Women's Studies, 48:5, 531-549, DOI: 10.1080/00497878.2019.1632605.

My name is Kokunre Agbontaen-Eghafona, from Benin City, Nigeria. I had my first and Master’s degrees in History from the University of Benin City. I then obtained a Master’s degree in Anthropology at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. I also obtained a Professional Certificate in Museum Studies, from New York University and a Ph.D. Archaeology at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, specializing in Cultural Resource Management.

I was a Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology, at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) (1984-1989). I also worked as a museum intern at the Department of Arts in Africa, Oceanic and the Americas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, (1990-1991). I have been a lecturer at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Benin since 1992 to date, and an associate professor/professor of Anthropology since 2003/2008. I am currently the Acting Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Benin.

My research interests are oral literature and ethnography; ethno-archaeology; cultural resource management; museum studies and tourism; peoples and cultures of Africa; marriage and the family; indigenous knowledge systems. I have been involved in longitudinal research in Benin studies for over four decades (since 1979) in the following areas: Benin material culture, traditions of origin, ethnography, visual anthropology, and archaeology, onomastic research in ethnonyms, anthroponyms, and toponyms. I have also been involved in team, collaborative and trans-disciplinary research with other researchers from the humanities, education, management, and social sciences, and the medical sciences. I have also conducted over twenty Social Impact Assessments (SIA) focusing on socio-economic surveys in rural communities in Nigeria.

I have also been working in the field of irregular migration and human trafficking since 2003. Benin City has been described as the most endemic area for female trafficking in Nigeria. I am concerned about how to eradicate the trafficking of girls and women in Nigeria.

Underlying the whole purpose of my research is the need to promote indigenous knowledge and technology as a way of social, economic, and political growth, development and independence. I believe that any society that must thrive and survive has to develop a culture that is suitable to the demands of that society.

Professional Address

Department of Sociology and Anthropology,
University of Benin, P.M.B. 1154,
Benin City, Nigeria