Profile of Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang

Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang is the immediate former President of Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) and Chairperson of its Africa Board.

She is a former Minister for Education and the first woman to be nominated to the posi=on of Running Mate of a major Ghanaian political party, the National

Democratic Congress, in the 2020 General Elections.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang was appointed the Vice Chancellor of the University of

Cape Coast (UCC) in 2008, breaking the glass ceiling as the first female Vice Chancellor of a public University in Ghana.

Before heading UCC, she had served in various positions as:

• Head of the Department of English

• Dean of the Faculty of Arts

• Dean of the Board of Graduate Studies

• Founding Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research (all at the University of Cape Coast)

• Academic Director of the African Diaspora Studies programme of the School for International Training Study Abroad.

• Member of the World Learning Global Advisory Board in the USA.

In October 2009, she was elected Ghana’s representative to UNESCO’s Executive Board, following which she was re-elected for a second term.

She is currently the Chancellor of the Women’s University in Africa, situated in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang is a proud product of Wesley Girls High School.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang has a Diplôme Supérieure d’Etudes Françaises from the

University of Dakar, Senegal; a B. A. (Hons) [English and French] with a Diploma in Education from the University of Cape Coast; a Masters and Doctorate degrees from York University in Toronto, Canada.

In recognition of her outstanding contribution to the development and promotion of quality education in Ghana, the Council of Komenda Traditional Area in the Central Region of Ghana honoured Prof. Opoku-Agyemang with the State Sword.

She is a recipient the of the Order of the Volta Award as well as the Ghana Women of Excellence Award.

She is also a recipient of four honorary doctoral degrees from:

• The University of the West Indies (LLD – Doctor of Laws), Barbados campus;

• Winston Salem University (DLif- Doctor of Humane Lefers), North Carolina;

• Grand Valley State University (DLif-Doctor of Lefers) Michigan;

• The University of Cape Coast (DLif – Doctor of Lefers) Ghana.

• Prof. Opoku-Agyemang has also been awarded/recognised by the following:

• Global Leadership Award by the University of South Florida, Florida State.

• Twice recognised by the World Learning Inc., USA, for outstanding performance in International Education.

• For Outstanding Contribution to Education by the Africa Education Leadership Awards, Mauritius

• Outstanding Contributions to the Education of Women and Girls by FAWE

• The African Women of Excellence Award (Education Category);

• The RUFORUM Award for Outstanding Contributions to Higher Education in Africa.

• The Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences for her role in the Declaration of the Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies by the United Nations General Assembly.

She is the founder and first President of the Association of West Africa Universities (AWAU). Prof. Opoku-Agyemang is also a two-=me Fulbright scholar, a Fellow of Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the Commonwealth of Learning (CoL).

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang has held membership of various groups and associations including:

• The University Teachers Association of Ghana;

• English Studies Association, Ghana;

• African Studies Association, USA;

• African Literature Association, USA;

• The International Fulbright Scholars Association;

• Board Member, Association of African Universities, North America;

• Adam Mafhew Digital, UK;

• Canada Initiative, Canada;

• Harriet Tubman Series, York University, Canada; among others.

Her passion for institutional economic independence led her to take many innovative initiatives, including exploiting the strengths of the University of Cape Coast to produce and meet its needs. She repositioned UCC as an award winning global centre of excellence, pioneered the production of both drinking water and cleaning materials, upgraded UCC’s school farm to supply the needs of the university and surrounding communities, including the Cape Coast municipality.

She also retooled the meat processing unit to take advantage of the tourist industry in Cape Coast, converted UCC’s printing press to a publishing house, encouraged students to build and own services, including a hall of residence.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang is also credited with taking education to the doorsteps of learners by advancing distance education (by the acquisition of land and the construction of well-equipped learning centres) across the country and preparing towards paper conversion to cut down on the use of plastics and towards the supply of sanitary needs.

She added a crèche to the day care facility UCC in order to increase the productivity of young women employees of the UCC, constructed a brand new kitchen complex to meet the needs of a growing and diverse population in the university, raised funds, and provide another outlet for practice by students in the Vocational/Technical Department.

She also spearheaded an innovation of the university producing its own graduation outfits for purposes of confidence and fundraising.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang has published and co-authored many books and articles on Women in Literature by respected publishing houses and internationally peer reviewed journals.

Her first attempt in creative writing resulted in five volumes of folktales generally titled Who Told the Most Incredible Story?

Professor Opoku-Agyemang is a Christian by faith and a Methodist by denomination.

She is blessed with three adult children: Dr. Kweku A. Opoku-Agyeman, Dr. Kwabena D. Opoku-Agyemang and Dr. Adwoa A. Opoku-Agyemang. She also has two adorable grandchildren, Nana Kwesi and Papa Kweku.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM

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