Prof. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu delivers 2014 alumni lecture

Prof. Henrietta J.A.N Mensa-Bonsu

Prof. Henrietta J.A.N Mensa-Bonsu, Director of the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) has expressed the believe that despite the numerous challenges that the African Union’s African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) faces, it could achieve its aim through the continued support , commitment and political will of member states.

Prof. Mensa-Bonsu said this when she delivered the 2014 Alumni Lecture on the topic, “The African Unions Peace and Security Architecture: A Guarantor of Peace and Security on the Continent?” at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana.

She noted that reliance on external funding other than financial support from member states has been one of the challenges that the APSA has encountered. This she said is as a result of the lack of sufficient incentives by the African Union to compel member states to live up to expectation. She suggested that sources from multi-national commercial interests to support the African Standby Force (ASF) could be explored to greatly improve the funding challenges. Adding that these multi-national commercial interests have as important a stake in the peace and security on the continent, as the member states.

Prof. Mensa-Bonsu, said the flaws in the original design of the APSA , though being corrected, still impose hurdles that must be overcome, as a guarantor of peace must have capacity and capability to enforce peace when the occasion demands. In addition, she indicated that member states should be encouraged to abide by agreed principles as this undermines the institutions, policies and programmes designed for ends agreed upon within their ranks. She further called for enforcement of breaches of principles acceded to so as to put an end to the perception of double standards and inconsistencies in the implementation of collective decisions.

The 2014 Alumni Lecturer described as heartwarming, the show of concern of member states about the state of funding of the APSA, by setting down a special meeting in 2015, that will focus solely on the issue.

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In opening remarks, the Chairman of the University of Ghana Alumni Association, Paa Kwesi Yankey, said speakers for the Alumni Lectures are selected based on their outstanding performance in their fields of expertise. He reiterated the relevance of the topic for this year’s lecture, given that developments in West Africa and Africa as a whole can be sustained by peace and unity.

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Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Aryeetey

Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Aryeetey, who chaired the Lecture, noted that he was extremely proud of the work of Prof. Mensa-Bonsu.  He described her as a very versatile person, who, apart from her academic work, was involved in National and International Engagements.

The Registrar, Mrs. Mercy Haizel Ashia in her welcome address, described alumni as loyal supporters, fundraisers, networkers and great models for young students. She said good Alumni relations benefits institutions, adding that the Alumni lecture is a way of recognizing the works of accomplished alumni.

The Lecture was attended by University officials, members of the Public , Alumni, Students and Staff of the University. In attendance were the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Catholic Arch-diocese of Accra, Most Reverend Charles Gabriel Palmer- Buckle, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ambassador Kwesi Quartey.

Presentations were made to Prof. Mensa-Bonsu by members of her family, colleagues and friends.

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A member of the Alumni Council, Dr. Sylvia Boye, making a presentation to Prof. Mensa-Bonsu on behalf of the Alumni Association

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Left : Representatives from Volta Hall pose for a photograph after making presentation to Prof. Mensa-Bonsu on behalf of the Alumni Association

Right: A presentation form Akuafo Hall.

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Prof. Mensa-Bonsu receiving a bouquet from her      Prof. Helen Lauer, making a presentation


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Sections of the audience at the Lecture

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The platform party in a group photograph before the Lecture