History of Psychology in Ghana Since 989AD

Seth Oppong


Psychology as taught in Ghanaian universities is largely Eurocentric and imported. Calls have been made to indigenize psychology in Ghana. In response to this call, this paper attempts to construct a history of psychology in Ghana so as to provide a background for the study of the content and process of what psychology would and/or ought to become in Ghana. It does so by going as far back as the University of Sankore, Timbuktu established in 989AD where intellectual development flourished in the ancient Empire of Mali through to the 1700s and 1800s when Black Muslim scholars established Koranic schools, paying particular attention to scholarly works in medicine, theology and philosophy. Attention is then drawn to Anton Wilhelm Amo’s dissertation, De Humanae Mentis “Apatheia” and Disputatio Philosophica Continens Ideam Distinctam (both written in 1734) as well as some 18th and 19th century Ghanaian scholars. Special mention is also made about the contributions by the Department of Psychology at the University of Ghana (established in May 1967) in postcolonial Ghana as one of the first departments of psychology in Anglophone West Africa. The paper also discusses the challenges associated with the application of psychological knowledge in its current form in Ghana and ends by attempting to formulate the form an indigenous Ghanaian psychology could to take.


A. W. Amo; University of Sankore; Ghana; Africa; history of Psychology and Philosophy; Black Psychology; Bio-cultural theory of Personality Development

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5964/psyct.v10i1.195

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