Tony Binns

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James Anthony (Tony) Binns (born 1948 in Greater Manchester) [1] is the Ron Lister Professor of Geography at the University of Otago in New Zealand.



Tony Binns was born in Prestwich and grew up in Bury, Greater Manchester, UK. He attended Stand Grammar School, [2] Whitefield. He graduated from Sheffield University (Geography, 1970; Dip.Ed., 1971) and taught geography in schools while attending the University of Birmingham (MA African Studies 1973; PhD African Studies and Geography, 1981). He taught geography at University of Sussex from 1975 to 2004, before moving to the University of Otago as Professor and latterly Head of Department.

Binns has two children, and holds British and New Zealand citizenship.

Scholarly contributions

Binns' prime interest is African community development and the livelihoods and wellbeing of Africans. His early work was in Sierra Leone, working from Kayima in the north east of the country on links between diamond mining and the farming sector, the two main occupations of local residents. He has continued to follow these trends since 1974, and in 2014 he was elected an honorary chief of Kayima for his continued support to the community. [3]

Since then he has worked in

He has also worked in


Key publications

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