Robert Addo-Fening was born at Osino on 7 March 1935 and educated at Presbyterian Schools at Osino and Akyem Asafo (1941-49), Accra Academy (1950-53), and the Kumasi College of Technology where he was trained as a teacher (1954-55). After nearly 4 years of Elementary school teaching, he entered the University of Ghana in October 1959 and graduated in June 1963 with a BA Honours degree in Modern History. From September 1963 to May 1965 he was a History Tutor at Ofori Panin Secondary School, New Tafo. He earned his M.A. degree at the Australian National University in 1967 and was appointed Lecturer at the Department of History, Legon in October of the same year. He studied part-time at the same University for his PhD, which he completed in 1980.
Addo-Fening retired in 1995, having taught several generations of History students at the University of Ghana, Legon. He continued to hold yearly post-retirement appointments at the Department for another 17 years. Academic positions he held overseas included Fullbright Scholar, University of California at San Diego (1977-78); Fullbright-Hays Scholar-in-Residence, North Carolina A & T State University at Greensboro (1992-93); and a two-week Lectureship at Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim (1995). He has several publications to his credit including six books, two of which he authored with other scholars.