Ghana is geared at having its first Female Vice President in history when Hon. Mahama wins elections. The Flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Hon. John Dramani Mahama announced his running mate, in the person of Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang. FAWE Africa receives his news with excitement as Prof. Naana is the current of the board chairperson who has served since 2017.
In her time as the Ghana Education Minister, she was credited with successfully championing reforms such as the conversion of polytechnics into technical universities, the upgrading of colleges of education into tertiary institutions, and a reduction in teacher absenteeism from 27% to 7%. She also led negotiations with the World Bank which secured for Ghana the flagship Secondary Education Improvement Project and the African Centres of Excellence initiative. This resulted in the establishment and funding for the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement, the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, both at the University of Ghana, and the Regional Water and Environmental Sanitation Centre at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Ghana) has endorsed her nomination stating that she is an advocate for affirmative action law in Ghana. They also said that her appointment was a major step in getting more women in the top hierarchy in politics and national governance.
A formidable advocate for women’s empowerment, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang has served as the Chairperson for the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) Africa Board since 2017. In her tenure, she has been able to lead efforts and immensely contribute to the promotion of women and girls’ education and training across Africa. Through her impactful leadership, she has positively impacted the lives of approximately 9,000 children by fundraising to the tune of $35 Million.
Under her able leadership, FAWE was crowned the Laureate for the 2017 cycle of Al-Sumait Prize for African Development in the field of Education. This prize is an affirmation of FAWE’s achievements in significantly enhancing gender equity and equality in education; through targeted programs, having a profound impact on attitudes and practices towards girls’ education and influencing education policies in 33 countries in Sub-saharan Africa. Prof. Opoku-Agyemang also oversaw the development and launch of the current FAWE Strategic Plan 2019-2023 which is centered on an adaptive and rights based approach. This positions the organization to remain responsive to contextual changes, address emerging issues, mitigate challenges faced in girls education, promote the rights and welfare of girls and women in adversity and empower them to be self-reliant and productive members of their societies.
Further, she was instrumental in providing leadership for the formation of the Gender Equality Strategy for the Continental Education Strategy for Africa 16-25 (GES4CESA); a tool developed to assist AU member states in reorienting their education and training systems in order to ensure that as many girls and women acquire the knowledge, competencies, skills, innovation and creativity required to foster Africa’s development.
FAWE extends her heartfelt congratulations to Prof. Opoku-Agyemang. We believe that her conscientiousness, charisma, mastery of trade and a genuine love for Africa will go a long way in serving the people of Ghana.