Dr. Leticia Obeng is a Ghanaian scientist from Ghana who received her doctorate in science at LSTM in the 1960s after immigrating to Liverpool with her three children, aged 8, 6, and 3. She was the first woman in Ghana to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology and Botany (1952), a Master of Science degree in Parasitology (1962) and a PhD in Tropical Medicine (1964). She specialized in the black fly and its relevant to river blindness which she became very familiar with the freshwater courses in North Wales during her PhD studies.

She became a lecturer and the first female scientist at the University College of Science and Technology now known as Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) between 1952 to 1959 after she moved from the United Kingdom. She became the first scientist for the National Research Council of Ghana now known as Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), she established the Institute of Aquatic Biology within the same institution for research on Ghana’s huge manmade and Volta Lake and its inland water system. She became the first female president of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006. She was an invited participant in the United Nations Human Environment Conference in Stockholm which she began to work as the Officer in the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in 1974. Dr. Leticia became the director of the UNEP Regional Office for Africa and UNEP’s Representative to Africa.


The environment, health, and scientific education, particularly in Africa, are the main topics of Letitia Obeng’s research and publications. Her dissertation research focused on the aquatic Simuliidae stages, which have been recognized as a key vector of the parasite that causes river blindness. Her works “Life-history and population studies on the Simuliidae of North Wales” and “The identification of the aquatic stages of the British Simuliidae” are associated with this research. Dr. Obeng examines the environmental impacts of four African dams: Lake Volta, Lake Kariba, Lake Kainji, and Lake Nasser in a report titled “Environmental of Impacts of Four African Impoundments”.

In July 2019, she released Anthology of a Lifetime, her debut book. It is a collection of the eminent scientist’s lectures, remarks, papers, and publications from the previous 60 years.

Leticia Obeng served as a distinguished international visitor fellow at Radcliff College from 1992 to 1993. She was the first woman to receive the CSIR Award for Distinguished Career and Service to Science and Technology in 1997. In addition, the Leticia Obeng Block of the CSIR Laboratory was named in her honor in 1997. [12] Order of the Star of Ghana, Ghana’s highest honor, was given to Leticia Obeng in 2006. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from KNUST in 2017.

Credit : Benjamin Darko

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