Profile of Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang

Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang has distinguished herself in service to academia in Ghana.

A testament to this is the fact that she is the recipient of Ghana’s highest recognition, Officer of the Order of the Volta for Academic Distinction.

But most of her public exposure in political circles came as she served as the Minister for Education of Ghana under the John Mahama administration.

Before her role in government, she served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast from 2008 to 2012, making her the first woman Vice-Chancellor of a public University in Ghana.

She was a Professor of Literature, at the School of Humanities and Legal Studies at the school.

Since 1986, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang headed the Department of English, served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts, been the Dean of the Board of Graduate Studies and was the founding Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

She has served as Academic Director of the School for International Training in the History and Cultures of the African Diaspora for 11 years.

In March, 2007, she was one of five scholars selected to deliver presentations during the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

In October 2009, she was elected Ghana’s representative to the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and was re-elected for a second time to the Executive Board.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang further served as the President of the Forum for African Women Educationalists and has been a member since 2014.

For her academic foundations, she obtained her Diplôme Supérieure d’Etudes Françaises from the University of Dakar, Senegal in 1976, a B. A. (Hons) with a Diploma in Education from the University of Cape Coast in 1977 and Masters and Doctorate degrees from York University in Toronto, Canada in 1980 and 1986 respectively.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang has twice been a Fulbright scholar and is currently a member of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and Fellow of the Commonwealth of Learning.

The former minister has chaired more than 20 Boards and Committees, among them: the Council of the University College of Education, Winneba 1998-2002; the Academic Committee of the Ghana Council for Tertiary Education; and was Joint Co-coordinator of the Specialist Program in English Language and Ghanaian Culture for Japan Overseas Co-operation Volunteers 1991-1993.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang has three children and grandchildren.

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