The Untold Story: How a Young Female Geologist’s Thesis is Paving the Way for Ghana’s Green Mineral Future, Five Decades Later

Mrs Alexandra Amoako-Mensah (left) with Atlantic Lithium CEO Keith Muller (right)

“Mrs. Alexandra Amoako-Mensah’s astounding contribution to the discovery of lithium in Ghana will be permanently etched in the country’s illustrious mining history. Her determination to overcome societal norms of the time and provide invaluable input in the field of geology should be widely commended. Mrs. Amoako-Mensah’s work has been instrumental in the creation of great opportunities and prosperity for the people of the Central Region, and for Ghana more broadly.” – Keith Muller, Chief Executive Officer of Atlantic Lithium

Even today, Ghana’s geological industry remains heavily male-dominated. The story was no different in the mid-1960s, when one remarkable young, female, Ghanaian geologist, Alexandra Afful (now Mrs. Alexandra Amoako-Mensah) was just starting her fledging career in the sector.

Little did she know at the time, that her determination in academic pursuit would facilitate the discovery of a critical mineral that could significantly improve the socio-economic status of the people of the Central Region, and Ghana as a whole; in doing so, also becoming an inspiration for women – particularly those in the field of geology and other sciences.

The sixth of nine children, Mrs. Amoako-Mensah was born in 1940 in Takoradi to parents Samuel Kofi Sey Afful and Mary Araba Amoasiwa Quaye Afful; both from Apam in the Central Region. Her interest in geology was sparked from a young age, driven largely by her geography teachers, Miss Finch and Miss Graham, at the Wesley Girls’ High School, Cape Coast, where she studied until 1960, when she was awarded a scholarship to read Geology at the St. Petersburg State University (formerly Leningrad State University) in Russia.

Ignoring comments from some of her peers that the industry had no place for a young woman like her, she persevered with her studies.

“I achieved my dream of becoming a geologist, a particularly male-dominated profession at the time, thanks to the unflinching support of my parents and siblings,” she says.

Returning to Ghana in 1966 with a Master of Science in Geology, she joined the Ghana Geological Survey, where she met Professor Shackleton, a visiting professor at the University of Ghana, who paid a visit to the department.

Recognising her considerable potential, Professor Shackleton offered her admission to Leeds University, in the United Kingdom, to enable her to advance her academic research. With the support of her late husband, Dr Alfred Kwadwo Archer Amoako-Mensah, an economist with the Bank of Ghana, travelled to Leeds to pursue a Master of Philosophy in Geochemistry, which she completed in 1971.

Source: By Queen Xorlali – April 19, 2024 Read more…
The Untold Story: How a Young Female Geologist’s Thesis is Paving the Way for Ghana’s Green Mineral Future, Five Decades Later (