Little about Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang
She was born in Cape Coast in 1951 and grew up in Komenda, Accra, and Cape Coast. She attended school at Aburi Girls, Wesley Girls High School before transitioning to the University of Cape Coast for a bachelor’s degree in English. She then traveled to Canada for graduate study at York University, where she earned a PhD in English literature. After completing her doctoral studies, she returned to Ghana with her family and lived in Cape Coast.
She taught at the University of Cape Coast for more than 30 years, where she served as hall warden for Adehye Hall, head of the department of English, dean of the faculty of arts and founding dean of the School of Graduate Studies, before making history as the first female vice chancellor of a university in Ghana. During this time, she mentored and inspired thousands of students who testify to her kindness, intelligence, concern for their welfare, and integrity to this day. She also produced groundbreaking research in the humanities; her world-class scholarship made her become a fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In 2013, she became the minister of education under His Excellency John Dramani Mahama for the entirety of his first administration and served with distinction. Her achievements in the education sector include reducing national average of teacher absenteeism from 27% to 7%; established Special schools in 7 out of the 43 Colleges of Education; introducing progressively free SHS through targeted and sustained planning; constructing 25 district education offices; introducing the BECE Private Candidates Policy; procuring and distributing 500 vehicles to educational institutions; completing 46 e-blocks with 77 others at various stages of completion; and completing 1,129 Classroom Blocks, 73 Teacher Accommodation Blocks, and 82 boreholes while rehabilitating 622 schools; among many others. The combination of infrastructural development with policy initiatives ensured that the quality of education at all levels witnessed an increase during her time at the helm of affairs.
Since she left office, she has continued to be a pillar in education by becoming the Chancellor of the Women’s University in Africa based in Zimbabwe. She is also the president and board chair of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), where she helped raise $1 million to improve their impact in Africa.
Her nomination and confirmation as the Vice-Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress not only underlines President Mahama’s commitment to improving women’s participation and representation at the highest levels of political leadership; it also highlights the decades of dynamic experience and innovation that she will bring to ensure that Ghana becomes a better place