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Nana Aba Appiah Amfo: University of Ghana appoints first female acting vice-chancellor

Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo

Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo

Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo has been appointed the first female vice-chancellor of the University of Ghana, in an acting capacity, after a decision by the institution’s newly constituted Governing Council, chaired by the former chief justice Sophia Akuffo.

The 49-year-old academic, who is currently the pro-vice-chancellor in charge of academic and students’ affairs, will act until a substantive appointment is made, following the expiration of the tenure of the current Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu.

Her appointment takes effect from 1 August 2021.

A statement from the University of Ghana said:


Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo is an alumna of the University of Ghana.

She had her secondary education at Holy Child School and Archbishop Porter Girls’ Secondary School, and proceeded to the University of Ghana where she studied from 1991 to 1996 for a Bachelor’s degree in French and linguistics.

Both her MPhil (2001) and PhD (2007) degrees in linguistics are from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway.

Professor Amfo has received additional training in higher education management and leadership from Harvard Business School, the University of Applied Sciences in Germany and INSEAD, France.

Her career in academia began in 2001 as a lecturer in the Department of Linguistics. She was promoted to senior lecturer in 2007, associate professor in 2011 and professor in 2017.

Her research interests are in the linguistic sub-discipline of pragmatics, which allows her to explore the role that context plays in conversational interaction and how that influences communication in different domains.

Before her appointment as pro-vice-chancellor, Professor Amfo served as Dean of the School of Languages, having served as the head of the Department of Linguistics from 2013 to 2014.

She has participated in the governance of the University of Ghana by serving on several statutory and ad hoc boards and committees.

Professor Amfo is currently an advisory board member of the Coalition of People Against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Harmful Practices (CoPASH) – a UNFPA-supported programme.

She is a member of several professional associations, including the Society of Communication, Medicine and Ethics, the International Pragmatics Association (where she serves on the consultation board – the first African to serve in this capacity since the association’s establishment in 1986), the West African Linguistics Society and the Linguistics Association of Ghana (where she served as president from 2010 to 2014).

She is also a pioneer fellow, senior scholar and chair of the steering committee of the African humanities course of the American Council of Learned Societies, a fellow of the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) and a Commonwealth Professional.

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