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Prof. Akosua Adomako Ampofo Delivers Inaugural Lecturepdf print preview print preview

Prof. Akosua Adomako Ampofo

Prof. Akosua Adomako Ampofo, Director of the Institute of African Studies (IAS) of the University of Ghana, has delivered her Inaugural Lecture on the topic, “The Driver and the Mate: Gender Politics in Africa and Social Transformation”, at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana.

Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, chaired the Lecture. He noted that the Inaugural lecture is a statutory requirement for academic staff who have attained full Professorship. He recognized the various roles Prof. Adomako-Ampofo has played in the University of Ghana, adding that he was eager to know from the lecture, the correlation between a driver and mate and gender politics.

Prof. Adomako Ampofo, in the introduction to her Lecture, explained gender relations in Africa as akin to the relations between the driver and the “mate” of the popular road transport vehicle in Africa, called the “tro-tro” in Ghana. She noted that even though it appears the driver controls affairs, in the reality of power play the mate could “subvert” the driver or the passengers. She thus described the politics of gender in Africa as “interesting, complex, but also troubling. She traced the proliferation of gender research in Africa from the 1980s, attributing it to factors which include the international women’s movement, and the influence of the UN among others.

Prof. Adomako Ampofo explained the growth of Women’s Studies into Gender Studies, with subsequent attention to the question of masculinities. She noted that early research focused on the status of women, especially their disadvantage and oppression. However as women’s studies grew into Gender Studies it became clear that there was the need to examine women’s experiences in the context of their respective cultures. Prof. Adomako Ampofo highlighted the contribution of Gender Studies to the Humanities by the introduction of new analytical tools, concepts, theories and methods as well as the extension of people’s understanding of social relations. Prof. Adomako Ampofo paid tribute to several people and institutions which helped her to rise to her current position. Among those she singled out for special mention were members of her family, former Vice-Chancellors, Professors Akilagpa Sawyerr, Ivan Addae Mensah and Clifford N.B. Tagoe, colleague-faculty members of the IAS. In his Closing Remarks the Vice-Chancellor commended Prof. Adomako Ampofo for what he described as an “excellent lecture”. He said, from the lecture, he had learnt convincingly of the contribution of Gender Studies to the Humanities field, and how formal education could help bring improvement to gender and institutional relations. The Vice-Chancellor consequently announced his decision to create a budget for the Anti- Sexual Harassment Committee of the University to ensure, among others, that their objectives are met and help to promote gender relations in the University. There were also presentations from numerous admirers and well-wishers of Prof. Adomako Ampofo, including the 1976 Year Group of Aburi Girls Senior High School, the IAS, the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy, the Faculty of Social Studies, and the Volta Hall of the University.

The Inaugural lecture was well attended by past Vice-Chancellors, former Directors of the Institute of African Studies, members of the university community and the general public.

Prof. Akosua Adomako Ampofo

Members of the Academic Procession in a pose with Prof. Adomako Ampofo before the Inaugural lecture

Students from Aburi Girls Senior High School at the Lecture

Some members of the Aburi Girls’ 1976 year group, Prof. Adomako’s year group, singing the School anthem after their presentation

Staff of the Institute of African Studies in a pose with Prof. Adomako Ampofo after their presentation

Director of the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy, Dr. Akosua Darkwa (3RD left) and her staff pose with Prof. Adomako Ampofo before their presentation

Students of Aburi Girls’ Senior High School making their presentation

A presentation from the Faculty of Social Sciences

Representatives of The Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Translation (GILLBT)making their presentation

Representatives from Volta Hall, where Prof. Adomako is a fellow, making their presentation

Representatives from Volta Hall, where Prof. Adomako is a fellow, making their presentation

The family of Prof. Adomako Ampofo

Date Published: 08/03/2013
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