The Pro-Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic and Students Affairs at the University of Ghana, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, has been appointed to act as Vice-Chancellor of the institution effective August 1, 2021.
This follows a decision of the University’s newly constituted Governing Council, chaired by former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo.
The 49-year-old woman will not only be the first woman, but also the youngest to serve in this position at the premier University if she’s confirmed as substantive Vice-Chancellor by the Council.
She is to act in the position following the expiration of the tenure of the current Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, ending July 31, 2021.
Prof. Appiah Amfo is taking over the role “until such a time the University Council appoints a substantive Vice-Chancellor”, a statement from the school’s Registrar announced.
The Council considered Section 10 (2)(b) of the University of Ghana, Act 2010 (Act 806), and Section 6 (3) of the University of Ghana, and decided on the appointment of the senior of the two Pro-Vice-Chancellors, to act.
The newly appointed Acting-Vice-Chancellor is a Professor of Linguistics and was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Students Affairs on November 1, 2019.
She is tipped to join the likes of Professor Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson and Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as the first women to occupy the prestigious position of Vice-Chancellor at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), and the University of Cape Coast (UCC) respectively.
Prof. Appiah Amfo’s acting position is a result of the University’s inability to finish processes to select a replacement before August 1.
In its quest for a VC, the University’s search committee received seven applications, including that of Prof. Appiah Amfo as the only female applicant.
The rest were Prof. Felix Ankomah Asante Professor, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development; Prof. Peter Quartey, the Director, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research; Prof. Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe, an Institute for Population Professor; Prof. Daniel Frimpong Ofori Provost, College of Humanities; Prof. Godfred Bokpin, the Dean of Student Affairs and Prof. Daniel Wesley Lund, Dean, Faculty of Business Administration.
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 from 1991 to 1996 for a Bachelor’s degree in French and Linguistics.
Both her MPhil (2001) and Ph.D. (2007) degrees in Linguistics are from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway.
Prof. Amfo has received additional training in higher education management and leadership from Harvard Business School, University of Applied Sciences, Germany, and INSEAD, France.
Professor Amfo’s career in academia started in 2001 as a Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics, 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 interactions 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 previously served as the Head of the Department of Linguistics from 2013 to 2014.
She has participated in the governance of the University of Ghana through her service on several statutory and Adhoc 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, International Pragmatics Association (where she serves on its Consultation Board; the first African to serve in this capacity since the Association’s establishment in 1986); West African Linguistics Society and Linguistics Association of Ghana (where she served as President from 2010 to 2014); a pioneer fellow, senior scholar and Chair of the Steering Committee of the African Humanities Program of the American Council of Learned Societies.
She is also a fellow of the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD), Commonwealth Professional.