His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, launched the University of Ghana Endowment Fund at the University’s Great Hall.
In his address President Akufo-Addo, who is an alumnus of the University of Ghana, described the Endowment Fund as an excellent initiative and said Endowment Funds constitute the fulcrum around which most world-class universities in the world operate. He was hopeful that the proceeds from the Fund would assist in the provision of additional facilities to enhance research and teaching.
“My government fully supports and shares in your vision to become a research-intensive university, and we will do all in our power to help you actualize this,” he added.
His Excellency the President urged the University of Ghana, and indeed all tertiary institutions in the country, to find innovative and effective ways of linking up with industry and the corporate world, to engage in quality, strategic research, targeted at finding practical solutions to real life challenges of our society, and thereby actualize research findings to the benefit of our country.
Recounting the history surrounding the establishment of the University, President Akufo-Addo paid tribute to the inestimable work Dr. J.B. Danquah did to mobilise the Ghanaian people to insist on the building of this University.
“It was the inspired, visionary leadership of this great scholar and nationalist, who was described in his lifetime as the Doyen of Gold Coast politics, that enabled the Ghanaian people to reject the original decision of the colonial government that a single university be established in Ibadan, in Nigeria, for British West Africa, and got it to agree to the establishment of a separate university for our country,” the President said.
He continued, “How felicitous was that decision, and how greatly it has contributed to the growth of modern Ghana. It would be wholly appropriate and not at all farfetched to describe Joseph Boakye Danquah as the founder of this University, a fact, which, on the 70th anniversary of its existence, should be vividly recalled by all of us who are the beneficiaries of his work.”
Earlier, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice-Chancellor, in his welcome address, called on alumni, individual and corporate friends and captains of industry and all stakeholders to rally behind the University, and support the University to achieve its vision of becoming a world class research-intensive University. He stated that as part of the 70th Anniversary celebrations of the University, the Endowment Fund is being established to provide additional funds to supplement government’s efforts to ensure that the University improves upon delivery on her mandate.
Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu delivering the welcome address
Prof. Oduro Owusu highlighted the intended purpose of the Endowment Fund which includes scholarships, bursaries, tuition waivers, research grants for students and faculty, additional facilities and resources to enhance research and teaching through the provision of equipment, teaching aids and space, upgrading the quality of internet coverage in all University of Ghana campuses and access to libraries. He urged all stakeholders to contribute generously to the fund as a befitting birthday present to the University.
The School of Performing Arts performed a short sketch titled ‘UG @ 70: Pride of a Nation.”
Sketch by School of Performing Arts
Prof. Audrey Gadzekpo, Dean, School of Information and Communication Studies, delivered a presentation on the justification for a hundred million dollar ($100million) Endowment Fund. She traced the history of the University from its first campus on the Achimota College premises when it had just 90 students, with only 2 being female (Dr. Rachel Phillips, one of the two females was present at the ceremony), to present day with enrolment at 38,000 and students from 70 different countries with 48% of the population being female.
Middle: Dr. Rachel Phillips, one of the female pioneering students of the University of Ghana
She said, the University prides itself in ensuring diversity and is committed to working towards gender equality. Prof. Gadzekpo emphasized that the University is particularly proud of its human capital which has brought forth prominent leaders of the nation, corporate bodies and international organizations. In her presentation she mentioned the University’s contribution to knowledge with emphasis on discoveries in Malaria and other tropical disease control at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and mentoring over 20 other tertiary institutions.
In her conclusion, she reiterated that the purpose of the endowment fund which was to support the University’s vision of becoming a world class research-intensive institution over the next decade and ultimately becoming a leading University in Africa and beyond.
Prof. Audrey Gadzekpo, Dean, School of Information and Communication Studies
Prof. Robert Hinson, Professor of Marketing at the University of Ghana Business School, called for donations and pledges in support of the Fund. His Excellency the President, representatives of corporate institutions, foreign organizations, alumni groups, faculty and staff pledged generously towards the Endowment Fund.
Prof. Robert Hinson calling for pledges and donations
(From left: Prof. Francis Dodoo, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Development; Prof. Kwame Offei, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Rachel Phillips, Ambassador James Aggrey-Orleans and Dr. Harry Agbanu at the launch)
Prof. Yaw Twumasi, Chairman of the University Council, expressed appreciation to the President for gracing the occasion and being personally involved in matters of the University. He also thanked all for making it to the launch, acknowledging the presence also of the Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, and charged members of the University to play their part in ensuring the success of the Endowment Fund as well as other activities earmarked for the 70th Anniversary celebration.
Prof. Yaw Twumasi, Chairman of Council
Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, Chairperson of the 70th Anniversary, later presented University memorabilia to His Excellency the President.
Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu making a presentation to His Excellency,
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
The launch of the Endowment Fund forms an integral part of the calendar of commemorative events of the University’s 70th Anniversary.