Farewell to Dr Ben Lamptey: Cheney Fellow continues African SWIFT role from Ghana

The Leeds GCRF African SWIFT team and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science would like to thank Dr Benjamin Lamptey for his significant and valued contributions made to the SWIFT programme and wider research activities at the University of Leeds during his tenure in the UK, and wish him well on his return to Ghana.

Dr Ben Lamptey delivers public Cheney Lecture at the University of Leeds.

Ben joined the University of Leeds in January 2019 as a Cheney Fellow and Visiting Professor of Meteorology at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS).

A particular highlight of Ben’s fellowship includes his compelling public lecture on extreme weather and climate change in Africa, with consideration of the contribution of human activity on the continent and implications for the environment, society and the economy.

Previous to this position, Ben was the Deputy Director-General (DDG) at the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD), African SWIFT’s lead programme partner based in Niamey, Niger.

As director, Ben played a central role in shaping the African SWIFT programme from its onset. His Cheney fellowship in Leeds has enabled him to further excel as a key stakeholder in the ongoing leadership and delivery of the project, as a member of the executive team, the operations committee, and the steering group for the FASTA project. Ben has also played an instrumental role in solving management and leadership challenges in SWIFT through his advanced understanding of the cultural and management practices in the UK and among African partner agencies.

Ben has a strong vision for African capability-building, and has supported the careers of many younger colleagues. Within SWIFT, in scientific discussions and planning meetings, he is widely known for advocating for early-career African researchers and encouraging our young scientists to be ambitious, to take responsibility for their careers, and to look to the international dimension of their work.

Dr Ben Lamptey (right) plays an instrumental role in the leadership of African SWIFT, alongside Prof Doug Parker (left) and Dr Lorraine Youds.

Ben will remain a key part of the SWIFT programme following his return to Ghana, where his meteorology career began. He holds an ongoing role as a Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds, maintaining the research and capacity-building links he has created during in his time in the UK.

“Ben is one of the most inspiring scientists I have had the pleasure to work with. His heart is in the climate science, and he loves nothing more than to work with data, and with models, to solve the climate problems which Africa is facing,” says Professor Doug Parker, principle investigator for African SWIFT.

“He is also passionate about development, and puts his time, energy and experience into improving opportunities for early-career African scientists. He is full of ideas, and when faced by a challenge, he responds with solutions. Working with Ben is always good fun, because of the creative ideas he generates, and I look forward to our work continuing long after he returns to Ghana.”