The Women’s University in Africa has appointed Ghana’s Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyeman, as its first female Vice Chancellor.
The colourful event took place at the Celebration Center, Harare on Friday, October 26, coinciding with the University’s 14th graduation ceremony.
It attracted ministers of state, parliamentarians, vice chancellors, members of the diplomatic corps, partners and friends of the university, alumni, with graduating students, parents and guardians in attendance.
In her acceptance speech Professor Naana Opoku-Agyemang thanked the Women’s University in Africa for bestowing such a distinctive honour on her, which she shares with all the communities of family, friends, colleagues, staff and students who are part of her life’s journey. She described the effect of the recognition as sobering, the invitation most unexpected.
She pledged to support the university in advancing the dreams of the two visionary founders- Professor Hope Sadza and Dr. Fay Chung, who took action to create a pathway for women to access higher education in many areas of importance to self and country.
She explained that the shifting terrain of higher education in Africa and the evolving economic order required that universities maintain a careful balance between knowledge and skills acquisition in curriculum review and delivery.
The congratulatory message from the University, read by the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, celebrated her ascension to the position of Chancellor.
“As your personal achievement and honour, the Board of the Women’s University in Africa, in nominating you, Professor Opoku-Agyemang, as the third Chancellor, “considered your vast contributions to education in your own country, Ghana; in Africa and the world over. You are a courageous woman, renowned researcher and scholar capable of repositioning WUA in its endeavour to prove its fitness of purpose in the context of globalized higher education and a Pan African university with world-wide footprint”.
He continued; “Chancellor, with your intellect and experience, I am confident that you are able to inspire and lead this great institution to sustained success. We pledge to work with and support you as you set a new direction and tone for the University. As you put WUA on a renewed path for the future, I wish you success together with the University Board, Council, Management team, and the entire university community.
“I therefore wish to thank you for accepting this nomination and the responsibility as the titular head of the Women’s University in Africa.
“Chancellor, I wish to, once again, congratulate you on your inauguration as the Chancellor of WUA, and recognise in advance the significance of the contribution you will make in this position to this University, to Zimbabwe and Africa at large. Makorokoto, Congratulations”
In an interview with zifmnews.com, Professor Opoku-Agyemang said she will continue to articulate the institution’s vision and translate it into action to ensure quality education for students.
Dr Fay Chung, co-founder of the University, said the institution was pleased to be encouraging the spirit of pan Africanism, diversity and African unity through appointing a Ghanaian chancellor coming after the previous Chancellor who was from Zambia
Chung said they always look for women who have excelled and have well known experience in the field.
Professor Opoku-Agyemang brings a lot of experience to the institution as she is currently the President of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) and chairperson of the Africa Board.
A professor of Literature, school of Humanities and Legal Studies at the University of Cape Coast, the Professor served as Minister for Education in Ghana from 2013 to 2017.
Professor Opoku-Agyemang holds a BA (Hons) in French and English, a Diploma in Education from the University of Cape Coast; A Diploma in Advanced Studies in French from the University of Dakar; an MA and PhD in Literature from York University, Toronto, Canada and she is the recipient of many international awards.