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Ghana’s opposition chooses female VP as running mate for presidential polls

Naana Opoku Agyeman during a panel discussion about the slave trade at UN Headquarters in New York, 26 March 2007.
Naana Opoku Agyeman during a panel discussion about the slave trade at UN Headquarters in New York, 26 March 2007. © UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras
2 min

Ghana’s main opposition party on Tuesday chose a woman as vice presidential candidate for the first time, ahead of the country’s December elections. 

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Naana Opoku Agyemang was chosen as running mate for former president John Mahama and the National Democratic Congress party. 

Opoku Agyeman said her nomination as vice presidential candidate “recognises the towering role woman have played over the ages to achieve the progress we have made”. 

“This historic nomination is not a personal achievement but a victory for an inclusive and participatory democracy,” Opoku Agyeman said in a statement of acceptance

She has a PhD in English literature from York University, Toronto, Canada, and spent 30 years teaching at Ghana’s University of Cape Coast, where she became vice chancellor, according to Mahama’s campaign website

Opoku Agyeman has edited a collection of essays exploring the connection between the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the literary imagination. She has also delivered lectures on increasing female representation and participation in academia. 

Mahama described her as “God-fearing, a distinguished scholar, a conscientious public servant and a role model”, in a tweet shortly after her endorsement. 

She previously served as an education minister during Mahama’s last administration. 

Ghana’s polls on 7 December are widely expected to be a hotly fought contest with incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo vying for a second term in office, and Mahama hoping to make a return to Flagstaff House. 

Ten women were part of Ghana’s first national assembly when the country became a republic, elected to fill specially created seats. 

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