President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says one of the most important and immediate challenges that will confront universities across the country, will be the dramatically increased population of students, who will be seeking admission in some two years, as a result of the Free Senior High School policy.
Speaking at the investiture ceremony of Mrs Mary Chinery-Hesse as Chancellor of University of Ghana, on Wednesday, 1 August 2018, President Akufo-Addo urged the new Chancellor and all heads of tertiary institutions, to begin making adequate preparations towards the increased population.
“The Free Senior High School policy will be a permanent feature of our educational architecture. We cannot be caught off guard, and, as the saying goes, ‘the best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today’,” the President said.
With Mrs Chinery-Hesse becoming the first female Chancellor of any public university in the country, the President stated that he is taking over as Chancellor from one of Ghana’s most illustrious sons, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan, under whose stewardship the University has attained the rank of the best in West Africa.
“I thank Mr. Kofi Annan, who served the two terms of his mandate, for his invaluable service to the nation. It is not every day that one picks up the mantle of leadership from such as Mr. Kofi Annan So, Madam Chancellor, I am sure that you know that you have your work cut out for you,” he said
Nonetheless, the president was unequivocal that the university could not have picked a worthier successor to Mr. Kofi Annan than Mrs Chinery-Hesse.
Her wealth of experience as Chief Director at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, Member of the Governing Council of the University, Advisor to the 2nd President of the 4th Republic, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, the President said, will ensure a seamless transition, and put her in good stead to help spur on the university onto even greater heights.
“I commend the authorities of the university for the excellent choice of this distinguished person, one who is also, happily, a firm believer in academic freedom. As the first female Chancellor of any Ghanaian university, Mrs. Chinery-Hesse blazes, again, a trail for other women to follow, and, moreover, I am sure the University will definitely feel the added benefit of that special quality that a woman can bring to leadership,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo assured of Government’s steadfast commitment and continued support to the University of Ghana, and, indeed, to all other universities in the country.
“It is my expectation and hope that Legon will continue to produce graduates, who are moulded to take on the opportunities and possibilities for higher achievement, through innovation and creativity, in today’s science and technology-led, knowledge-driven global economy, and who will, thereby, help generate prosperity for the mass of our people in our time,” he said.
Sharing with the youth of Ghana one fundamental belief that shapes everything he does, the president stated that: “We have it in us to be the best generation, the generation that fulfils the dreams of the great patriots who brought our nation independence, the generation whose work will give full meaning to the words of our country’s motto, Freedom and Justice, the generation that will build a new Ghanaian civilisation the equal of any on the face of the planet. Let us be up and doing. Greatness beckons.”