Department of Communication Studies Launches 50th Anniversary Celebration

The Department of Communication Studies (DCS) has launched its 50th anniversary celebration under the theme "50 Years of Excellence in Communication Scholarship and Training: Reimagining the field in a digital era".

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo in her welcome address congratulated the Department on their anniversary and applauded the DCS in shaping national discourse through research, extension activities and high standards of training. Prof. Amfo emphasised the ability of the media in disseminating information and cited low media literacy, poor regulation and personal recklessness as the threat of misinformation in the country. She noted that there was the urgent need for scholarship that empowers policy and supports the orientation of media consumers and users. \

Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo delivering an address

Prof. Amfo further encouraged DCS to work at expanding access to the quality training it offers and was hopeful that the Department will expand and upgrade in terms of physical infrastructure and professional resources.

In brief remarks, Mrs. Fatimatu Abubakar, Deputy Minister of Information, on behalf of Honorable Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information, reiterated warm congratulations to the Department and noted that the contributions of the Department to the ministry was invaluable. Mrs. Abubakar revealed that the DCS was the oxygen for political enterprises, businesses and institutions at the Ministry of Information and was hopeful for fruitful collaborations in the future.

Mrs. Fatimatu Abubakar, Deputy Minister of Information, making an address

Prof. Martin Oteng-Ababio, Acting Provost, College of Education, in brief remarks encouraged the Department to tap into its pool of alumni for resources and support. He also commended the Department for the effective training and solicited for support from the alumni to boost the productivity of DCS. 

Delivering the keynote speech, His Excellency, John Dramani Mahama, Former President of Ghana, and alumnus who joined virtually, extended hearty congratulations and stated that the Department was known for raising brilliant professionals. He recounted how the training provided by the Department prepared him for future roles at the Ministry of Communications and in Politics. 

Drawing attention to the evolution of a society from one state to another, Mr. Mahama stated that progress was not sudden but rather a succession of laid out plans and systems intended for the progress of society. He said “Throughout these relays of developments, our goal must be to add to the gains of our professors for future and present generations to leap into higher heights. From a previously analogue world in which we existed and were taught, we have over the last few eras entered a digital era, one that dictates almost every aspect of our way of life”. Mr. Mahama mentioned that a convergence of communication made it possible for digital communications technology to accelerate the pace of business including advertising and bank transactions.

Indicating how digital communication had enhanced education delivery, Mr. John Mahama said, “Online learning reaches a far expansive population beyond the confines of a physical classroom. There is inter and intra institutional exchange of library materials which has facilitated easy teaching, learning and research.” He was hopeful to seeing a future where traditional universities can fully embrace smart digital technology and adapt immersive learning technology to simulate the required learning environment scenarios to facilitate teaching and learning. 

The former President and alumni further stressed the need for the reimagination of the communications field in the digital era since the world was interconnected in a century where there was the convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications. Mr. John Dramani Mahama also assured his support and commitment to the University for progressive development.

Mr. Yakub Abdul Hamid, Program Officer, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, (UNESCO Ghana), on behalf of His Excellency Dr. Abdourahamane Diallo, Head of UNESCO Office in Ghana, stated that UNESCO’s global mandate was to defend and promote freedom of expression, media independence and pluralism and the innovative use of digital technologies. He noted that this was done through capacity building, policy advice, international corporation, and digital transformation. Mr. Yakub disclosed that the DCS and UNESCO have established relations and engagement and both parties seek to empower citizens to ensure that fundamental freedoms are guaranteed with international standards.

Earlier, the Head of Department, Dr. Abena Animwaa Yeboah-Banin, in her address appreciated all present and noted that the theme captured celebrations of the past and the desire to challenge the future. Dr. Yeboah-Banin stated that ever-changing digital technologies had not only transformed communication practice but also required newer, more robust theorising, and testing tools to make sense of the evolutions to train professionals for current needs. She indicated that the world was a changing media and communications landscape anchored on the power of technology and innovation, and it was crucial for the department to be inclusive in such futuristic positions.

Dr. Yeboah-Banin also recounted the numerous alumni, media practitioners and elites who have been taught by the DCS. She cited faculty and the size of the Department as two challenges plaguing the Department. Dr. Yeboah-Banin used the opportunity to solicit for funds for the upcoming office complex fitted with adequate teaching and learning facilities, including a fully functional production facility and a studio.

Head of Department, Dr. Abena Animwaa Yeboah-Banin

During the ceremony, Dr. Abena Animwaa Yeboah-Banin, introduced members of the 50th Anniversary Committee, chaired by Mr. Kwaku Mensa-Bonsu. The Department honored a former lecturer, Mr. Kwaku Mensa-Bonsu for his commitment and continuous support to the department for 36 years including 15 years of voluntary service. Other faculty members were also acknowledged for their dedicated service to the Department. 

Giving the vote of thanks, Miss. Gertude Dzifa Zegbla, Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Candidate, expressed appreciation to alumni, faculty, students, and staff present for gracing the occasion.

There was an official cutting of the Anniversary cake by the Deputy Minister of Information, the Vice-Chancellor, the Head of Department, and other dignitaries present.

The cutting of the anniversary cake

The event was interspersed with a cultural performance by the Department of Dance Studies and a creative performance from Ghanaian Poet, Chief Moomen.

Present at the ceremony were alumni, media practitioners, students, faculty, staff, and members of the University Community.

After the ceremony, guests were taken on a tour and presented an exhibition of scholarly works at the Department of Communication Studies.