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Ghana’s first female scientist launches book

BY: Edward Acquah
Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo launching the book
Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo launching the book

Ghana first female scientist, Dr Letitia E. Obeng, has made another scholarly breakthrough with the launch of her latest book, titled Anthology of a Lifetime.

The 381-page book is a compilation of some of the distinguished scientist’s talks, speeches, writings and publications within the last 60 years.

The book also covers a wide range of views and thoughts on water, the environment, culture and development.

The nonagenarian, who was the first Ghanaian female to obtain a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the field of Science, demonstrates her appreciation of the environment in the book and suggests better ways of managing the country’s natural resources.

Significance

Launching the book in Accra last Wednesday, the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, described Anthology of a Lifetime as a model for aquatic thinking and the environment, which he said could influence policy and practice in the areas of water and sustainable environment.

“The work you have produced is a confluence of pure wisdom, raw passion for the environment, a deep sense of patriotism and a pragmatic commitment to get things done to preserve the environment.

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“If Ghanaians had heeded Dr Obeng’s advocacy, which she has followed passionately over the years, we would not have been on the brink of polluting every river in the country and having to spend millions of cedis to address this regrettable state of affairs,” he added.

For his part, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, also lauded the author for her immense contribution to knowledge and development in the fields of water, aquatic biology and the environment.

He gave an assurance that the ministry would draw necessary lessons from the issues enumerated in the book to guide it in its programmes.

About the author

Dr Obeng is well known for her instrumental role in the establishment of the Institute of Aquatic Biology of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

In 2018, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK awarded her its first Honorary Doctor of Science degree in its 120-year history, some 50 years after she had obtained a PhD degree from the school.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic after the event, Dr Obeng expressed concern over what she described as the deplorable state of the Volta Lake, which is gradually being swallowed up by weeds.

She said given the social, economic and environmental cost to the lake, it was essential for the state to safeguard it and also find an alternative use for it for the benefit the country.