Profile of Pro Vice-Chancellor

Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo holds a Bachelor’s degree (French and Linguistics) from the University of Ghana. Both her MPhil (2001) and PhD (2007) degrees in Linguistics are from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. Professor Amfo has received additional training in higher education management and leadership from Harvard Business School, University of Applied Sciences, Germany, and INSEAD, France.

Professor Amfo’s career in academia started in 2001 as a Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics after her Master’s degree. In 2007, the same year she obtained her PhD degree, she was promoted Senior Lecturer. She became Associate Professor in 2011, and Professor in 2017. Professor Amfo’s research interests are in the linguistic sub-discipline of Pragmatics, which allows her to explore the role that context plays in conversational interactions and how that influences communication in different domains. Her research resulting in several publications in nationally and internationally reputable journals such as Acta Linguistica Hafnensia, Current Issues in Language Planning, Discourse and Society, Ghana Journal of Linguistics, Journal of Pragmatics, Journal of West African Languages, Legon Journal of the Humanities, Lingua, Linguistics, Nordic Journal of African Studies, Nordic Journal of Linguistics, Pragmatics,  and Studies in African Linguistics, have covered the role of function words in communication, information structure, grammaticalisation, language use in specific domains such as health, gender, politics, religion and migration. Her (edited) books and book chapters have been published by Ayebia Clarke Publishing Company, John Benjamins Publishing Company, Novus Press, Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group) and Sub-Saharan Publishers. Her recently (2018) co-authored textbook on Therapeutic Communication Competencies for Nurses and Midwives, commissioned by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, is published by DigiBooks. 

Professor Amfo has acquired extensive multi-cultural experience through various professional engagements in twenty countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. These engagements include giving competitive and invited talks, serving as external assessor and engaging with research and professional collaborators. She has been an external examiner for a number of Universities including University of Nairobi, Kenya; University of the Western Cape, South Africa; Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway; Stockholm University, Sweden and University of Education, Winneba. 

Prior to her becoming Pro Vice-Chancellor (ASA) in November 2019, Professor Amfo was founding Dean of the School of Languages (2014 – 2019). She previously served as the Head of the Department of Linguistics (2013 – 2014). She has participated in the governance of the University of Ghana through her service on several statutory and adhoc boards and committees. She previously served as the Chair of the Management Board of the University Basic School (2011 – 2016), the College of Humanities Senior and Junior Staff Appointments and Promotions Committee (2014 – 2018) and the Mentoring and Professional Development Sub-committee of the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy (CEGENSA) (2010 – 2013). She was the University of Ghana’s representative on the Catholic University College Appointments and Promotions Committee (2011 – 2016). She was a member of the College of Humanities Advisory Board, and served as a Tutor of Mensah Sarbah Hall.

Professor Amfo is a life member of the University of Ghana Alumni Association.

Professor Amfo has taught at both the Legon and Accra City Campuses of the University of Ghana. In addition, she has supervised a number of undergraduate and graduate students. Her passion for mentoring particularly younger professional women has driven her to organise and or facilitate several capacity building training programmes in both the public and private higher education sectors, as well as in other public and private organisations. She has been a consultant trainer for the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana. Professor Amfo is currently an Advisory Board member of the Coalition of People Against Sexual and Gender Based Violence and Harmful Practices (CoPASH) – A UNFPA supported programme.

Professor Amfo is a member of several professional associations including the Society of Communication, Medicine and Ethics, International Pragmatics Association (where she serves on its Consultation Board; the first African to serve in this capacity since the Association’s establishment in 1986), West African Linguistics Society and Linguistics Association of Ghana (where she served as President from 2010 – 2014). She is a pioneer fellow, senior scholar and Chair of the Interim Steering Committee of the African Humanities Program of the American Council of Learned Societies. She is also a fellow of the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD), Commonwealth Professionals Fellowship, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the prestigious International Women’s Forum Leadership Program.