Akua Kuenyehia is a distinguished Ghanaian academic and lawyer with a notable career spanning several decades. She served as a judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) from 2003 to 2015, where she was elected as the First Vice-president of the Court and President of the Appeals Division. Notably, she was one of only three female African judges at the ICC.
Prior to her appointment at the ICC, Kuenyehia worked as a Barrister and Solicitor at the Supreme Court of Ghana and as a Law lecturer. Her advocacy for women and human rights was also evident through her representation of Ghana on the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) committee in 2003.
Kuenyehia has received numerous accolades for her contributions to law and academia. She is an Honorary Fellow of Somerville College, and a member of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative Advisory Council, a project of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. Additionally, she has spent most of her professional career teaching at the University of Ghana, where she served as Dean of Law, and as a visiting professor at other institutions including Leiden University and Temple University. Currently, Kuenyehia serves as President of Mountcrest University College, Ghana.
She was born in Akropong, Akuapem in Ghana, and obtained her first degree from the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, Legon. She then went on to earn a BCL from Somerville College, Oxford University, where she became the first female to be appointed as a law professor at the University of Ghana.
Kuenyehia has extensive experience as a solicitor, advocate, and law teacher, and was Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana for seven years before her election to the ICC. Her pioneering work advocating for equal opportunity, justice, and development for women in Ghana and around the world is reflected in her co-authorship of a textbook on Women and Law in Sub-Saharan Africa, published in August 2003, which is currently the only comprehensive textbook on the subject.
The Akua Kuenyehia Foundation
The Akua Kuenyehia Foundation (AKF) is a Ghana-based not-for-profit organization founded by the children of H.E Judge Akua Kuenyehia, first Vice-President of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, in her honor.
It is a private foundation committed to the development and empowerment, through formal education, of women in Ghana. The overarching purpose is to nurture and develop a passion for knowledge in Ghanaian girls, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, and a zeal for service to society by enriching the lives of these young women through educational scholarships and mentorship programs.
Learn more about the foundation: https://akuakuenyehiafoundation.org/
READ NEXT PIECE ON: Identical Ghanaian Twins inducted as Pharmacist and Medical Doctor