In a spectacular and colourful ceremony, the University of Ghana has launched its 75th anniversary celebration under the theme; Nurturing Resilience; Adopting Technology, Embracing Humanism.
Mrs. Mary Chinery-Hesse, Chancellor, University of Ghana, in her opening remarks expressed her delight in how the University of Ghana has over the years grown in leaps and bounds since its establishment as the University College of the Gold Coast, on August 11, 1948. Mrs. Chinery-Hesse was glad to see the presence of many alumni, faculty, employees, friends and other stakeholders of the University of Ghana, gracing the occasion to celebrate with the University.
The Chancellor noted that the theme for the anniversary, will focus on the numerous changes taking place in Africa and the world today and how these can be adopted, not only in the University of Ghana, but in the entire spectrum of higher education in Ghana and beyond.
“We live in an ever-changing world, and if we are to progress as a people and as an institution, we need to embrace this change and leverage on it to improve upon our practices and performance, and that is what this Diamond Jubilee year of the University of Ghana seeks to accomplish: showcasing what the University of Ghana has achieved over the last 75 years, in the areas of teaching, learning, research and service, and looking ahead to additional gains and achievements in the next 75 years and beyond, as we adapt to the ever changing world around us”, she added.
She expressed hope in the University’s entire stakeholders actively participating in the exciting line up of events over the next 12 months. “The concept notes for the anniversary emphasises that the celebrations will be big on inclusion and participation” and I am reliably informed that there will indeed be something for everybody”, she added.
Mrs. Mary Chinery-Hesse, Chancellor, University of Ghana
Her Ladyship Justice Sophia Akuffo (Rtd.), Chairperson, University of Ghana Council, in launching the anniversary urged all present to reflect on the theme for the celebration as it encapsulates all that the University stands for, and what it aspires to do and be in today’s global world. Justice Akuffo (Rtd.) echoed the aspirations of the University and noted how the University has over the past 74 years, worked towards meeting its vision and mission. She indicated how the University has helped shape society, by nurturing successive generations of men and women who have gone on to be pacesetters and contributed their quota to society, both here in Ghana and across the world.
Her Ladyship Justice Sophia Akuffo (Rtd.), Chairperson, University of Ghana Council
Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana, in her speech noted how the University of Ghana has transformed from its beginnings on the Achimota Campus till 1961 when it became a fully-fledged university with the power to award its own degrees.
She reiterated how the University has distinguished itself as the best University in Ghana and one of the best Universities in Africa and said “It has been 75 years of attracting significant funding for ground-breaking research addressing pertinent issues; 75 years of setting the pace for quality teaching and learning on the higher education landscape in Ghana and beyond; 75 years of nurturing great minds, shaping careers and building transformational leaders. In essence, it has been 75 years of dedicated service to the nation, positively impacting Ghana and the world at large”.
Prof. Amfo extended a warm appreciation to the entire members of the University community for their assiduous work to lifting the flag of the University. “The University has earned this enviable feat by dint of hard work on the part of principal and other officers of the university, faculty, administrators, other professionals, students and our alumni who are undoubtedly eminent and notable, and they continue to make the University proud in various facets of our economy.”, she stated.
Prof. Amfo proudly noted that the University has, among other things, produced Presidents and Vice-Presidents of this Republic, corporate giants, seasoned media and communication practitioners, legal luminaries, economic and finance experts, top-notch researchers and health workers. She expressed confidence in the University continuously raising several generations of nation builders.
Prof. Amfo further disclosed that the University currently nurtures 26 younger tertiary institutions by way of affiliation and hosts three World Bank African Centres of Excellence; West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) and West African Genetic Medicine Centre (WAGMC) as well as flagship Research Institutes such as Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research (NMIMR), Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) and the Institute of African Studies (IAS) among others.
The Vice-Chancellor explained that the University of Ghana, in its quest to make its services available to a wider audience irrespective of geographic location, is combining technology with traditional methods of instruction across its campuses and learning centres. “It has over the years, developed a broad spectrum of programmes tailored to meet the growing needs of our society”, she added.
Noting that her leadership as Vice-Chancellor, will see to Management of the University committing to leveraging on the solid foundation built by previous administrations, Prof. Amfo stated that her vision as Vice-Chancellor, driven by the key concepts of technology and humanism is reflected in the theme for the 75th anniversary.
She was hopeful that the next 75 years would result in greater achievements to make the University a global centre of excellence in higher education.
Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana
Mrs. Elsie Addo Awadzi, Second Deputy Governor, Bank of Ghana, in her speech as the Guest of Honour, appreciated Management of the University for the opportunity to celebrate with the University. She noted her pride in being an alumna of the University. “I can proudly say that my University of Ghana experience (what I will call “the UG experience”) was transformational and has served me, my family, Ghana, and the world, well”, she said.
Mrs. Awadzi, among other things, applauded the University for challenging itself to keep up with the changing times and the changing needs of its stakeholders. “New infrastructure, new courses, new teaching and learning tools and pedagogies, relatively reduced class sizes, new governance structures, and upgraded faculty training, are but a few of the positive changes that are evident in the University today”, she stated.
She mentioned how the University’s current administration, is making even greater strides pursuing its overall vision of becoming a “world-class research-intensive university” and stated that the Vice-Chancellor’s bold and audacious vision to ‘create a culture that promotes research, teaching and learning, administrative processes and extension activities driven by technology and anchored in humanism’ has led to the launch of key activities including the ‘Vice-Chancellor’s Programme for Enhancing the UG Student Experience through Digitalisation’.
Mrs. Awadzi commended successive administrations of this noble University and the tireless efforts of faculty and staff over the decades for their foresight and dedication towards the success of the University. She reiterated the significant contributions and successes of the University over the past seventy-five years and expressed hope in the year-long celebration providing the right setting to take stock, learn lessons, and look forward to the next 75 years.
She expressed the need to look into the future with new ways of thinking and pursuing vision and goals. She noted that the pursuit of “world-class” excellence should be a moving target, and as times change, that vision should be calibrated to deliver outcomes that keep this great institution relevant. “Education must respond to the realities of a fast-changing world powered by cutting-edge technologies that are disrupting industries and traditional ways of doing things, and at the same time presenting opportunities for leapfrogging developmental challenges”, she added.
Mrs. Elsie Addo Awadzi, Second Deputy Governor, Bank of Ghana
Dr. Kobby Mensah, Chair of the Logo Selection Committee, gave brief remarks on the logo competition, after which he announced the top three winners of the anniversary logo competition. The Vice-Chancellor presented a certificate and a cash prize to the Winner of the Competition, Dr. Kofi Sarpong Adu-Manu a lecturer at the Department of Computer Science. Mr. Peter Osei-Sekyere and Mr. Jeremiah Bradford, both students of UG, received certificates for placing 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Dr. Kofi Sarpong Adu-Manu receiving his prize from the Vice-Chancellor
Before the 75th anniversary logo was unveiled by the dignitaries present, Prof. Akosua Adomako Ampofo, Chair of the Anniversary Planning Committee expressed appreciation to all the members of the Committee and the sub-Committees for their invaluable contribution, while Prof. Clement Appah, Co-Chair, Anniversary Planning Committee presented an outline of the programmes scheduled for the anniversary year such as the Keynote lectures, banquet, international colloquium, sporting activities among others.
Ms. Pascaline Songsore, Secretary, Anniversary Planning Committee moved the vote of thanks. She extended appreciation to all present for gracing the occasion.
The event was attended by the Government Officials, Ministers of States; Members of Parliament; Officials of Bank of Ghana; Managing Directors of Banks; Directors and Deputy Directors of public institutions; members of the diplomatic corps; Heads and representatives of International Organisations (WHO UNICEF, UNHCR, ARUA)
A section of the audience present at the ceremony
Also in attendance were past and present UG Council Members, former Vice-Chancellors, former Pro-Vice-Chancellors and former Registrars. In addition, Heads of Affiliate Institutions; Vice-Chancellors and Registrars of Public Universities; Heads of Senior High Schools; employee associations and unions were in attendance. Others present were the Overlords of Osu and La Traditional Councils. Alumni, students and faculty members were all present for the event.