August 22, 2013

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By Kathryn Kopchik

Naana Opoku-AgyemangLEWISBURG, Pa.Naana Opoku-Agyemang, the Minister of Education of the Republic of Ghana, will visit Bucknell University Sept. 3-6.

While on campus, Opoku-Agyemang will give two lectures, both of which are free and open to the public. During her visit, she also will meet with President John Bravman, University officials and faculty, and will attend several classes. Her visit is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Office of International Education.

Opoku-Agyemang will give the talk, "The Effect of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade on African Economic Development," Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center; and the talk, "Prospects for Educational Cooperation with Africa," Thursday, Sept. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gallery Theater of the Elaine Langone Center.

A former faculty and university administrator, Opoku-Agyemang was the president of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana 2008-12, the first and only woman president of a university in Ghana. During her presidency, Bucknell signed a partnership agreement with UCC to offer a new Bucknell-in Ghana semester program.

The Bucknell-in Ghana program is a new semester long Bucknell-in program being proposed, according to Stephen Appiah-Padi, director of international education at Bucknell.

Similar to the other Bucknell-in semester programs in France, London and Spain, the BiG program will be led by a faculty member and include Bucknell students. During their semester at the University of Cape Coast, students will take a course taught by Bucknell faculty and courses offered by UCC. The program is planned to begin in spring 2015.

"Students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture through language study, homestays and voluntary service projects," said Appiah-Padi. "Professor Opoku-Agyemang's visit to Bucknell will further pave the way for the first Bucknell-in semester program in Africa."

Opoku-Agyemang was selected as Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study and Research into the African Humanities, Northwestern University, USA (1994) and as a Fellow of the American Summer Institute, Northern Illinois University, USA (2003). She was twice honored for outstanding performance in advancing international education by the School for International Training/World Learning, USA in 2003 and 2007.

She has researched and published extensively in areas including literature by women from Africa, oral literature in Ghana and issues relating to higher education in Ghana and Africa as well as on the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

In 2007, she was one of five international scholars selected to deliver presentations to the United Nations Headquarters in New York during the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery. Elected Ghana's representative to the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2009, she has served as director of Ohio University's Teach in Ghana Program.