Amadou-Mahtar M'Bow

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Amadou-Mahtar M'Bow
Unesco history, M'Bow - UNESCO - PHOTO0000002701 0001.tiff
Director-General UNESCO
In office
Personal details
Born (1921-03-20) March 20, 1921 (age 100)
Dakar, Senegal
EducationSorbonne University
OccupationPoliticial, diplomat, educator

Amadou-Mahtar M'Bow, GCIH (born March 20, 1921)[1][2] is a Senegalese educator. Born in Dakar, M'bow served in France and North Africa during World War II after volunteering for the French army, serving in the French Army, with the Free French, and finally in the French Air Force.[3] After the end of the war he studied geography at the Sorbonne University in Paris.

M'bow began working for UNESCO in 1953 and was the director-general from 1974 to 1987, being the first black African to head a United Nations support organisation. He called the Commission over the Problems of Communication which delivered the MacBride Report (so called after its president, Seán MacBride) in May 1980, supporting international claims for a New World Information and Communication Order. His departure in 1987 followed criticism for administrative and budgetary practices and the US withdrawal from UNESCO in 1984 (followed by the UK in 1985). In 1980, M'Bow was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Belgrade.[4]

M'Bow retired to his home country of Senegal in 1987. He turned 100 in March 2021.[5]

Amadou-Matar M'Bow Pictured in 2008



  1. ^ El Hareir, Idris (2011). The Spread of Islam Throughout the World. UNESCO. p. 906. ISBN 978-9231041532.
  2. ^ Profile of Amadou-Mahtar M'Bow
  3. ^ Meisler, Stanley (2011). United Nations: A History. Grove Press. ISBN 9780802194992. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Amadou Mahtar Mbow fête ses 100 ans" (in French). Rewmi. 20 March 2021. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Cidadãos Nacionais Agraciados com Ordens Portuguesas". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
Government offices
Preceded by
René Maheu
Director-General of UNESCO
1974 – 1987
Succeeded by
Federico Mayor Zaragoza