Last week, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, was appointed as the acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana.
Her appointment came hours after the constitution of a new Council for the University and the inability of the institution’s authorities to settle on a substantive successor before the expiration of the tenure of Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu on July 31, 2021.
Prof. Appiah Amfo, prior to her appointment as acting Vice-Chancellor, was the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University, in charge of Academic and Students Affairs.
Since the announcement of her appointment, social media has been buzzing.
Here are the talking points:
Prof. Appiah Amfo is the first woman to rise to the office of Vice-Chancellor of the premier tertiary institution in Ghana.
The University has made conscious efforts to push more females to key managerial roles but no woman has been able to occupy such a high administrative seat.
The University of Ghana, since its establishment in 1943, has had thirteen Vice-Chancellors, including Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu.
Prof. Appiah Amfo comes as the first woman in the history of the university to serve as Vice-Chancellor.
She is also the third woman in Ghana to rise to such an office in a public university.
She comes after Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang (UCC) and Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson (KNUST)
Youngest among equals
Prof. Amfo, a Ghanaian linguist, has not only made history in the local University of Ghana books.
She is, per data available to UniversNews, the youngest among Vice-Chancellors across public universities in Ghana.
Born on September 30, 1971, the 49-year-old is the only Vice-Chancellor of a public university yet hit 50.
Road to Vice-Chancellor
Climbing the academic ladder is certainly a herculean task and needs a great deal of perseverance to reach the top.
For observers, Prof. Appiah Amfo, may have enjoyed quite an interesting ride to the top.
Professor Amfo’s career in academia started in 2001 as a Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics after her Master’s degree.
In 2007, the same year she obtained her PhD degree, she was promoted Senior Lecturer.
She became Associate Professor in 2011, and Professor in 2017.
Within ten years, she has risen from the role of the Head of the Department of Linguistics (2013-2014).
She spent five years (2014-2019) serving as the founding Dean of the School of Languages.
In November 2019, she was appointed as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University, in charge of Academic and Students Affairs.
All-female leadership at UG
Never has it happened at the University of Ghana to have women occupy the four high levels of administration.
The chairperson of the University Council, the Chancellor of the University, Vice-Chancellor of the university, and the Registrar are all women.
There is a quartet of an all-female leadership at the University, as a story published on myjoyonline.com puts it.
These four are;
Former Chief Justice Sophia Akufo-Addo — Chairperson of Council
Dr. (Mrs.) Mary Chinery-Hesse — Chancellor
Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo — Vice-Chancellor
Mrs. Emelia Agyei-Mensah — Registrar
Even though her appointment may be temporary, the reception to the announcement is as though the word substantive was used in the announcement.