Ewurama Addy; The first Ghanaian woman to hold a professorship in science


Ewurama Addy was born on 7th February 1942 in Nkawkaw in the Eastern region of Ghana, to Samuel Joseph Cole and Angelina Kwofie Cole. She was a Ghanaian biochemist and the first Host of the National Science and Maths Quiz.

She is the first Ghanaian woman professor of natural science,Addy became a role model for school girls and budding female scientists on the limitless opportunity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Mariam Addy was also a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, elected in 1999. In the same year, she was awarded the UNESCO kalinga prizes for the popularization of science.

Addy’s focus of academic research was the biochemistry of herbal medicinal products used by traditional medical practitioners, especially in areas relating to safety and efficacy. When she reached the rank of full professor of biochemistry, Mariam Ewurama Addy became the first woman to hold a professorship in science in Ghana and at the University of Ghana.She was the chair for the policy Committee on Developing Countries (PCDC).

She also chaired the National Board for professional and Technicians Examinations (NABPTEX). She served as the program Director for the Accra-based Science Education Programme for Africa (SEPA), a pan African programme for pre-tertiary science education in 1970’s. She was a board member of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission from 1996 to 1998 together with the Ghanaian botanist, George C.Clerk.

In January 2008, Addy was appointed as the first President of the Anglican University College of Technology,a technology initiative in higher education.

She served as a member on member of WHO Regional Expert Committee on Traditional Medicine, and worked as an advisor to the International Foundation for Science, in Stockholm, Sweden. She was the Founder and First Executive Secretary of Western Africa Network of Natural Products Research Scientists (WANNPRES), which was established in February 2002.

She also served on the Kwami Committee, a technical committee on polytechnic education set up by the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), to study and recommend policies to assist the Ghanaian government in supporting polytechnic education.

In 1994, she was also a National Action Program for Science and Technology Development and also had extensive experience in both basic and applied science, lecturing to undergraduate, post-graduate, dental and medical students at the University of Ghana, Legon and subsequently at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington DC. Her research on the biochemistry of diabetes mellitus led to the improvement of herbal plant formulation for the treatment of the disease.

Her Contrbution caught the attention of the The Ghanaian government who appointed her an Officer of the Order of the Volta for her contributions to science and girl-child education.


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