University of Ghana’s top principal officers are all women: Meet the history-makers

Left – right: UG’s all female principal officers – Chinery Hesse, Sophia Akufo and Nana Aba Amfo

• The University of Ghana recently inducted a new Vice-Chancellor

• Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo is the first woman to occupy the position

• UG currently has women occupying all three principal positions

The University of Ghana last Tuesday, October 26, inducted a new Vice-Chancellor in the person of Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo.

The 49-year-old former pro-Vice-Chancellor made history on two different levels with her appointment. The youngest occupant of the office and the first woman to be appointed.

She became the 13th Executive Head of the University of Ghana at a colorful ceremony held at the Great Hall, Legon; which ceremony also had some strong significance gender-wise.

This was due to two other history-making women who joined the new Vice-Chancellor on the stage as she was celebrated.

The two were the head of UG’s Governing Council and the Chancellor of the university.

“The ceremony was presided over by Mrs. Mary Chinery-Hesse, First female Chancellor. In attendance was Justice Sophia Akuffo (Rtd), First female Chair of the University Council,” UG’s official Facebook page wrote.

The development means that for the first time in its history, the university’s top principals were all women. This is despite the fact that Legon is the third public university to have a female Vice-Chancellor.

GhanaWeb looks at briefs relating to the three glass-shattering women

Mrs. Mary Chinery-Hesse was duly elected as Chancellor of the University of Ghana and subsequently inducted into office on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at a Special Congregation of the University held in the Great Hall.

The Chancellor is one of the three Principal Officers of the University; the two are the Chairperson of the University Council and the Vice-Chancellor.

The Chancellor is the head of the University and takes precedence over the other officers of the University.

Mrs. Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo (rtd) served as Chief Justice of the Republic between 2017 till 2019 when she retired.

Her appointment to head the 20-member UG Governing Board was in June this year after the tenure of the last governing board elapsed in May.

It was the Governing Board that announced the Vice-Chancellorship appointment of Prof Amfo in August in an acting capacity. Justice Akuffo was in attendance when the new Vice-Chancellor took office officially.

Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo Until her appointment as VC was the Pro-Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic and Students Affairs at the University.

The first statement announcing her appointment (as acting VC) was issued in July, following the expiration on July 31, 2021, of the tenure of the then Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu.

“Prof. Amfo in her inaugural speech promised to create a culture that promotes research, teaching and learning, administrative processes and extension activities driven by technology and anchored in humanism.

“She also outlined her goal of training students who are critical thinkers, technological adept, humane, culturally sensitive and ready to provide leadership for the country and continent,” UG’s Facebook page added.

History making female VCs before Prof. Amfo

While she takes a pioneer seat at Legon, her rise comes behind that of others who occupied the seat at the University of Cape Coast and another compatriot currently in the seat at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi.

2008 – Kufuor appoints Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as UCC VC

In 2008, as he prepared to leave office, former President John Agyekum Kufuor, appointed Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, as the first female Vice-Chancellor of a public University in Ghana – in this case UCC.

2020 – KNUST Council appoints Rita Akosua Dickson VC

On August 1, 2020; Professor Rita Akosua Dickson officially started her four-year tenure as Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).



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