Prof. Kofi Agyekum
Professor Kofi Agyekum is a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Ghana, Legon. He was the Acting Dean of the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, 2014-2021; Coordinator of the English-Akan Science Dictionary Project, 2010-2015; and Head of the Department of Linguistics, University of Ghana, 2010-2013. He holds a Diploma (First Class) from the School of Ghanaian Languages, Ajumako in 1982 and a Teachers’ Certificate-A from the Nkoranza Teacher Training College from where he graduated as a teacher in 1976.
Following the completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics in 1989, he went on to study for an MPhil in the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, and returned in 1996, to take up a lectureship position in the Linguistics Department, University of Ghana, while working towards a Ph.D., which he completed in 2003.
Long before the completion of his Ph.D., he had become widely known for his exceptional competence and fluency in the use of Akan as an effective language for public discourse and debate, from newspaper reviews to radio and TV commentary on major issues of public interest. Professor Kofi Agyekum was the first to introduce Newspaper Review in Akan at Radio Univers in April 1997. The program was titled Afis1m and it is still aired on Radio Univers, Legon. He was the host of Afis1m and Obiara Nka Bi programs on Radio Univers and has trained a lot of student-trainee journalists. He is a regular panelist on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo Show.
Professor Agyekum has established himself as a scholar whose research and publications constitute an important point of reference on the Akan language in particular and Ghanaian culture as a whole with over 77 journal articles and book chapters, a number of book reviews, and 16 books. His latest books are Akan Kasadwini and Akan Body Part Expressions. He is an internationally recognized Akan and Ethnography of Communication scholar and has been quoted and consulted by several scholars and institutions at both local and international levels. He has also written 5 modules in linguistics for the Institute of Continuing and Distance Education University of Ghana, Legon.
Professor Agyekum is the recipient of many awards and honors for his achievements, including the University of Ghana’s Best Teacher Award (2007); National Award: Companion of the Volta, for Contributions to Public Education and the Media (2008); the Kwame Nkrumah Genius Award for the Use of Mother Tongue in the Media; and Humanitarian Awards Ghana (Honorary Division) in 2020.
His areas of Research are Ethnography of Communication, Linguistic Anthropology, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis, Language and Politics, Mother Tongue Education, Sociolinguistics, Stylistics, Semantics, Cognitive Semantics (Body Part Expressions) Translation, Terminology, Lexicology, Lexicography, and Oral Literature. On the strength of his scholarship and outstanding work as an Akan Language educator and research scholar, a public intellectual with a wide repute as a principal consultant on Akan/Ghanaian language and culture, Prof. Agyekum was elected to the Fellowship of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences on 08 July 2021. Professor Kofi Agyekum is married to Mrs. Abenaa Akyaa-Agyekum and they are blessed with 4 young adults, two boys, and two girls.