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Sylvia Charity Akotia

Professor of Psychology, University of Ghana

Charity S. Akotia is a professor in the Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon. Her specialty is social/community psychology and she teaches both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and Russian from the University of Ghana, a Master of Arts degree in community psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada, and a PhD from the University of Ghana.

Her main research interest is in suicidal behaviour in a cultural context and how to prevent suicide. She has collaborated with colleagues from Norway and Uganda to work in this area of psychology for several years. In recent times, she has also developed an interest in the multifaceted needs of the ageing and how they navigate on a daily basis to improve their lived experiences. She has also done some work on the psychology of eating behaviour. This area of research is new in Ghana and is a very interesting area where an attempt is made to understand how people eat and what eating means to them. Prof. Akotia also researches personhood in an African context. This project is funded by the Mellon Foundation and focuses on understanding how people conceptualise personhood and the factors that determine personhood.

She is a member of the Ghana Psychology Association (GPA) and has been licensed by the Ghana Psychology Council. Internationally, she is a member of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the Critical Suicidology Group. She is the current national representative of the IASP and a co-chair of the Council of National Representatives of the IASP.

Research area(s) (including ongoing research).

Suicide and suicide prevention
Gender and gender role attitudes
Ageing, care and spirituality
Psychology of eating behaviour
Personhood in an African context


  • –present
    Professor of Psychology, University of Ghana