Achimota School is a pacesetter in women empowerment - Spio-Garbrah
Women empowerment in Ghana had its roots in Achimota School. The idea of women and men working side by side and being treated equally was one of the principles upon which the school was founded.
That is the assertion of former Trades and Industry Minister Ekow Spio-Garbrah- an alumnus- as the school marked its founding day on Saturday.
Speaking in an interview with Ghanaweb, Mr Spio-Garbrah, said prior to the founding of Achimota, other schools existing at the time such as Mfantsipim, Wesley Girls were all single sex schools.
Achimota, therefore, was an experiment that the governor of the Gold Coast at the time decided the country needed a co-educational system where both sexes would learn together.
“So the whole idea of empowering women, of making sure that women walk side by side with men and are given the same level of education, same kind of opportunities in life, same compensation when they work…began here on this campus of Achimota,’’ Dr. Spio-Garbrah said.
Achimota School (formerly Prince of Wales College and School) was founded in 1924 by Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg, Dr. James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey and the Rev. Alexander (Alec) Garden Fraser.
It was formally opened in 1927 by Sir Frederick Guggisberg, then Governor of the British Gold Coast colony and was the first mixed-gender school to be established in the Gold Coast.
The school has educated many African leaders including Kwame Nkrumah, Edward Akufo-Addo, Jerry John Rawlings and John Evans Atta Mills all of whom are former Heads of State of Ghana.
Former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama had his primary education there while former Prime Minister of Ghana, Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia also taught at Achimota. Also included in its list of African heads of state are Zimbabwe's first President Robert Mugabe and Sir Dawda Jawara, the first head of state of The Gambia.
Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah, who joined thousands of other alumni to mark the 91st founder’s day of the school noted that once Achimota set the pace for equal opportunities for men and women, the rest of the country jumped on board to create the diverse Ghanaian society where women are equally as important as men.
Notable females in Ghanaian society who have championed the cause of women include former first lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang, and former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Dr Joyce Aryee, who are all proud alumni of the school.