Professor Takyiwaa Manuh receives Honorary Doctorate Degree from University of Sussex

Professor Takyiwaa Manuh, a former Director of the Institute of African Studies,and currently Director of the Social Development Division of the Economic Commission for Africa, has been conferred with an Honorary Doctor of LawsDegree by the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK.

The award was in recognition of Professor Manuh’s ‘contributions to the fields of law, gender and politics’.

Conferring the degree on Professor Manuh, the Chancellor of the University, Sanjeev Bhaskar,referred to the struggle for justice, as well as the desire to change the world as distinctive marks of the University. Hestated inter alia that Professor Takyiwaa Manuh, “scholar-activist, lawyer and anthropologist, has made significant contributions to that struggle for justice – in her home country of Ghana, in her work at the Economic Commission for Africa where she currently serves as the Director of the Social Development Policy programme….,”

A citation read stated that Professor Manuh’s interest in issues of justice, rights and development was inspired by witnessing injustice and inequality around her during her early years. “Those were the days of apartheid South Africa and the Vietnam War; a time when women were considered in law as a category of ‘persons under disability’ rather than equal citizens with equal rights,” the Citation said. The Citation celebrated Professor Manuh’s educational and professional achievements that culminated in her becoming the first female Director of the Institute of African Studies. Professor Manuh became a passionate advocate for African Studies that is, as she has written, “rooted in a mastery of African contexts and experiences that engage in comparative work to generate theories that explain Africa first and foremost to its own peoples.”

The ceremony was witnessed by very distinguished personalities including the Vice Chancellorof the University of Sussex, Professor Michael Farthing, the Lady Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellors, Members of Convocation and Graduands of the University and their family and friends.

After the conferment, ProfessorManuh expressed appreciation to the University for the honour done her. She also paid tribute to her late parents and family members as well as her teachers, mentors, colleagues, friends and networks (both professional and social) for their support, encouragement and belief in her ability to succeed.

Professor Manuh celebrated the progress made in girls’ education and women’s rights as well as in the area of politics in Africa. “There is now a general commitment to democratization and the rule of law to the extent that even autocratic governments which wish to remain in power want the veneer of democracy and try to extend their rule through elections, however stacked these may be,” she observed. She stressed the need to translate these impressive growth rates into decent jobs and skills for the teeming populations of young people on the continent.

Professor Manuh used the occasion to urge graduands to, among others, use the knowledge gained from the University of Sussex to make a difference ina‘fast-changing and turbulent’ world, thereby, building on the progress made in women’s rights, the rule of law, and democracy.