Enid Rosamund Ayodele Forde – The First Sierra Leonean Woman To Obtain A PhD

Enid Rosamund Ayodele Forde
In 1966, at age 34, Enid Rosamund Ayodele Forde made history in the field of academia by becoming the first Sierra Leonean woman to obtain a PhD. She was also one of the youngest women in the world to obtain a PhD during that period.

Enid Rosamund Ayodele Forde gained her PhD from Northwest University in the United States. Forde’s dissertation, “The Population of Ghana: A Study of the Spatial Relationships of Its Sociocultural and Economic Characteristics,” made a significant contribution to the study of West African geography.

Brief Background

Enid Rosamund Ayodele Forde was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone on the 23rd of January 1932. She started her primary school education at the Buxton Primary School.

After successfully passing the National Entrance Examination now National Primary School Examination, Forde gained admission to the Annie Walsh Memorial Secondary School, the oldest girls’ school in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Forde’s parents were highly interested in education. They loved seeing their children breaking barriers and earning excellent results. Due to this, Forde was a force to reckon with during her time at the Annie Walsh Memorial Secondary School. She excelled exponentially. 

Her academic excellence led her into some of the world’s best learning institutions; Fourah Bay College, Leeds University United Kingdom, the London Institute, and Northwestern University, where she gained her PhD.

Post PhD Years

After obtaining her PhD from Northwest University, Forde decided to return back home to impart the knowledge she had gained to the lives of Sierra Leonean students.

One of Forde’s passions and ambitions was Geography. She loved Geography. She always wanted to teach Geography and become a successful Geographer. 

So, upon her return to Freetown, Sierra Leone, Forde started to teach Geography at her alma mater, Annie Walsh Memorial Secondary School. She taught Geography for many years at Annie Walsh before becoming the Head of the Geography Department at Fourah Bay College – University of Sierra Leone.

At Fourah Bay College, Forde was also Warden of the Women’s Students. Forde contributed greatly to his home country of Sierra Leone.

As a Professor, she authored a number of published articles on land use, economic development, and modernization in Sierra Leone, which helped the country socially and economically.

Her papers contributed greatly to the education sector in Sierra Leone. In 1986, one of Forde’s most notable contributions to Sierra Leone took place.

She helped in carrying out the Sierra Leone national population census and also helped in popularizing the family planning program that has continued to benefit so many women both young and old in Sierra Leone. Forde’s academic contributions crossed boundaries.

Her dissertation, “The Population of Ghana: A Study of the Spatial Relationships of Its Sociocultural and Economic Characteristics,” contributed to the study of West African geography.

Forde’s contribution to the development and progress of Sierra Leone continued. She helped and supported the Hillside Day Care Centre, a crèche established in 1995 for orphans of the Sierra Leone civil war that cost the lives of thousands of Sierra Leoneans.

Her professionalism and expertise helped developed the Hillside Day Care Centre into a Preparatory School. The Preparatory School enrolled over 80 children of which many are orphans who lost their parents in the Civil war

Enid Rosamund Ayodele Forde’s journey from being the first Sierra Leonean woman to obtain a PhD to becoming an icon of education and social progress was a beacon of hope for her country and the world.

Her story taught the lesson that education is a catalyst for change and that one person’s dedication can set off a chain reaction of transformation that transcends time.

Author: Abu Bakarr Jalloh

Abu Bakarr Jalloh is a Sierra Leonean content writer, author, Neo Pan-African and founder of The African Dream, an online platform for inspiring, positive and compelling African stories. Contact: abubakarrjalloh@theafricandreamsl.com WhatsApp: +23276211583

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *