First Female Navy Commander Sails To Nigeria

Lt. Cdr Priscilla Ami Dogbeda

Lieutenant Commander Priscilla Ami Dogbeda Dzokoto, Ghana’s first female Commanding a Navy Ship has sailed successfully to Nigeria.

A statement issued by the Directorate of Public Relations, (DPR) of the Ghana Armed Forces and signed by Naval Captain Michael Addo Larbi, Director of Public Relations said Lt. Dzokoto, in charge of Ghana Navy Ship ANKOBRA is joining its Nigeria counterpart for a maritime exercise which commences from 26 May to 1 June 2022.

He said the exercise aims to establish a combined maritime Task Force amongst the Navies of the Gulf of Guinea States and those along the Eastern/Southern African coastline.

The statement said the Ghana Navy deployed one of its River Class Ships, Ghana Navy Ship (GNS) ANKOBRA for this exercise.

“Navies all over the world are predominantly dominated by men; It is therefore historic that the Ghana Navy has appointed its first female Commanding Officer,” the statement said.

Profile Of Lieutenant Commander Priscilla Ami Dzokoto

Lt Cdr Priscilla Ami Dzokoto (PAD), was born on Saturday 8 March 1986 in Takoradi in the Western Region of Ghana. She had her Basic and Junior School Education at Pentecost Preparatory and JSS in Takoradi and proceeded to the Holy Child School, Cape Coast for her Senior Secondary School Education.

She completed Holy Child in 2004 and proceeded to the University of Ghana, Legon where she gained admission to read Mathematical Science. She graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Statistics and Computer Science.

She was enlisted into the Executive Branch of the Ghana Navy on 14 September 2012 as part of Ghana Military Academy Regular Career Course Intake 52. She was one of the first two females in the history of the Ghana Armed Forces to be enlisted into the Executive Branch of Ghana

On commissioning, she had various courses and training both locally and internationally to prepare
her for her Naval career. She had her initial training at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth in the United Kingdom in 2013. She later underwent Sub Lieutenants Technical Course in Ghana in 2016. Subsequently, she attended the Navigation Direction School in Kochi, India from July 2021 to February 2022 where she graduated as a Navigation Specialist.

Lt Cdr Dzokoto also holds certificates in Maritime Interoperability Training from the United Kingdom, Remote Sensing, and Geographic Information System Combating Weapons of Mass

Destruction Proliferation and Maritime Risk Assessment certificates all in Ghana. She completed the Junior Staff Course at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College in 2019, where she came out as the 2nd best student. These courses and training equipped her to hold various appointments as she rose through the ranks.

Lt Cdr Dzokoto was first posted to Ghana Navy Ship NAA GBEWAA as a Watch Keeping Officer in September 2012. While onboard she was appointed the Assistant Communications Officer of the Ship. Her responsibilities included the functioning and maintenance of all communications equipment on board, the training and welfare of all Ratings in the Communication Department, and ensuring the effective and efficient communication between the ship and other Military Units/Civilian Establishments among others.

She also served on board Ghana Navy Ship Yaa Asantewaa from 2013 to 2017 where she held the
following appointments:
➢ Assistant Navigation Officer
➢ Navigation Officer
➢ Communication Officer
➢ Acting Executive Officer
➢ Correspondence Officer
➢ Watch Keeping Officer among others She was the Assistant Navigation Officer onboard GNS YAA ASANTEWAA when the ship sailed to Nigeria to participate in Exercise Obangame Express in 2014. She played an instrumental role
in planning and executing the passage from Ghana to Nigeria.

Apart from serving on board, she also served in a training school where she imparted to others the knowledge she had acquired. Lt Cdr Dzokoto was the Training Officer and subsequently the Acting Second in Command of the Navy Trade Training School (now School of Marine Engineering and Combat Systems, SMECS) from January 2018 to June 2021 where she assisted the Commanding Officer in the administration and daily running of the school. Her other responsibilities included coordination and administration of all courses, monitoring the progress of trainees, review of examination questions for standardization, periodic review, and update of course syllabi, and monitoring and supervision of all training activities among several others.

In the area of peacekeeping, Lt Cdr Dzokoto served as a Military Observer with the United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) from February 2020 to February 2021.

On 11 April 2022, Lt Cdr Dzokoto was appointed Commanding Officer of Ghana Navy Ship BLIKA. Her appointment makes her the first female Commanding Officer of a Ghana Navy Ship.

A feat she achieved by dint of hard work, perseverance, and God’s grace.

By Linda Tenyah-Ayettey