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General News of Tuesday, 28 July 2020


Africa to get its 17th female vice president if Mahama wins December election

Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang is Running Mate of John Dramani Mahama Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang is Running Mate of John Dramani Mahama

Ghana’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) party has outdoored its running mate in the person of Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang who will deputize the former president John Dramani Mahama as he seeks reelection in December 2020.

The selection of a female running mate for the first time by the party has been lauded by gender activist groups and the general public who believe it is about time gender diversity is introduced in the high office of Ghana.

Ghana has never had a female president nor a vice president in its history. It is also the first time a major political party has selected a woman to run for the vice presidential slot. However, Africa has already seen three elected female presidents since Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2006; six appointed female presidents and 16 female vice presidents.

The continent would get its 17th female vice president if the main opposition candidate John Dramani Mahama wins the December 2020 presidential election by beating the incumbent Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, if her party wins the election, will also be Africa’s 6th incumbent female vice president joining Inonge Wina of Zambia; Samia Suluhu of Tanzania; Jewel Taylor of Liberia; Isatou Touray of The Gambia and Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior of South Sudan.

Who is Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang?

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang was appointed the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast in 2008, the first female Vice-Chancellor of a public university in Ghana.

Before heading the university, she had since 1986 served as head of the Department of English, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Dean of the Board of Graduate Studies and Founding Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

She was also the Academic Director of the African Diaspora Studies programme of School for International Training Study Abroad.

In October 2009, she was elected Ghana’s representative to UNESCO’s Executive Board. She has been re-elected for a second time to UNESCO Executive Board.

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.

Naana has chaired more than twenty Boards and Committees, among them: the Council of the University College of Education, Winneba 1998-2002; 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.

She has also chaired the Adjudication Committee, VALCO Literary Awards, Ghana 1993-1998; Board of Governors, Ghana Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD-Ghana) since its founding in 1998; and, Board of Governors, Wesley Girls High School 1994-1998.

She is a member of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences; University Teachers Association of Ghana; English Studies Association; African Studies Association, USA; African Literature Association, USA; and the International Fulbright Scholars Association.

Madam Jane Opoku Agyemang was appointed in 2013 by President John Mahama after the 2012 Ghanaian general elections and served until January 2017 when the Nana Akuffo-Addo administration was elected to power.

She was elected as the current Africa Board Chairperson of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) and also a former Minister of Education in Ghana.

Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyeman is running mate of NDC Flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama.

She hails from Cape Coast in the Central Region.

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