Professor Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson is an alumna of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana. Prior to her current appointment as the Vice Chancellor of KNUST, she had been serving since October, 2018 as the 21st Pro Vice Chancellor of KNUST, and the first female in the history of the University to have occupied this elected position.
She began her basic education at the Akantome Primary School in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, through Royal International School, Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Professor Dickson then proceeded to the St. Monica’s Secondary School in Mampong-Ashanti with Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board scholarship. She studied for her GCE Advanced Level examinations at the Wesley Girls’ High School in Cape-Coast, Ghana, which qualified her to study pharmacy at KNUST. After graduating in 1994, she was invited by the Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, KNUST, to undertake her national service and was subsequently offered a Teaching Assistantship position at the Department, alongside her Pharmacy Council required hospital internship at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana.
With acquired consciousness of her career aspirations, Professor Dickson pursued research graduate studies leading to the award of Master of Pharmacy degree in Pharmacognosy in 1999 at KNUST. Her hard work and commitment to duty got her the opportunity to be appointed a lecturer in year 2000 at the Department of Pharmacognosy, KNUST.
She received a Commonwealth Scholarship award in 2003 to study for a PhD degree at Kings’ College London, University of London, UK where she also studied a parallel programme in education and acquired a Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (GCAP). After her return, she got promoted to the rank of Senior Lecturer in 2009. Between 2011 and 2012, Professor Dickson won a Commonwealth Academic Fellowship at the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, University of London, UK, as a visiting scientist researching into bioactive natural products as well as Novartis Fellow in collaboration with Seeding Labs in the United States. She was promoted to the rank of an Associate Professor of Pharmacognosy in 2014.
Professor Rita Akosua Dickson is an accomplished Phytochemist whose scientific knowledge and research expertise have impacted the international scientific community in terms of training, mentorship and scientific appraisals. Professor Dickson’s impact also extends to both national and international levels; her professional expertise as a pharmacist and pharmacy educationist have been useful to the pharmacy fraternity in Ghana and beyond. She has served as a Board member of the Ghana Pharmacy Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, as well as Chairman of the Deans Forum of the Pharmacy Institutions in Ghana. She is also, the Chairperson of the Education sub-committee of the Pharmacy Council and an examiner for the Ghana Pharmacy Council Professional Qualifying Examination for pharmacy graduates. She similarly served on the Continuous Professional Development Technical Committee of the Pharmacy Council. As a fellow of the Ghana College of Pharmacists, she has served on several committees locally and internationally in the area of Pharmacy Education and Training and was a member of the Steering Committee of the Ghana National Medicines Policy Programme and International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)-UNESCO UNITWIN Centre for Excellence in Africa (CfEA) platform. She is a member of the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA).
Professor Dickson is married to Nana Sarkodie Dickson, a Chartered Accountant, and the couple is blessed with four daughters; Akosua Dickson, Abena Dickson, Akua Dickson and Afua Dickson.