Renaming University Of Ghana After JB Danquah Will Not Be Out Of Place But.....

By Abdallah Abdul Matin 
Article Renaming University Of Ghana After JB Danquah Will Not Be Out Of Place But.....
AUG 14, 2023 LISTEN

The decision to rename institutions is often a complex and sensitive matter, particularly when it comes to renaming universities after individuals. Renaming the University of Ghana after JB Danquah, a prominent figure in Ghana's history could be seen as a show of recognition for his contributions but could that really be a political miscalculation should the officialdom begin to entertain that consideration?

The debate to rechristen the University of Ghana after Dr. JB Danquah has been reawaken by President Nana Addo's recent allusion to the foundership of Dr JB Danquah. It is true that no befitting monument has been named on the premises of the University of Ghana to immortalise the memory of the Doyen of Gold Coast politics. It is also a fact that without the critical role of JB Danquah, the flagship University would have not been in existence. It must be placed on record the contribution of JB Danquah to the establishment of the University of Ghana.

The colonial leadership in response to a protest for a university institution, had planned to build a West-African University in Ibadan, Nigeria. Dr. J. B Danquah led a charge that if the Secretary of State for the colonies, Oliver Stanley, was not ready to accept their proposals, there were ready to establish their own University College. He pushed for the Legislative Assembly then to establish the Kenneth Bradley Committee to look into the modalities of establishing a University College in the Gold Coast.

Dr J.B Danquah on his own volition succeeded in convincing the traditional leadership and the cocoa farmers to willingly contribute towards the building of the University of Ghana. On that very note, it was then possible to levy and collect two shillings and six pence per load of that cocoa crop season. The total money thus collected amounted approximately to £897,000 which on behalf of the farmers was presented to commence projects for the University in 1948

Others may hold some misgivings about the propriety and timimg of renaming the University but the contribution of JB Danquah to the making of the University of Ghana is unarguable. So if the President on this premise and in liason with the University Council decide to rename the University after JB Danquah, it will be done on merit and on fair grounds.

But, the impact of renaming the University of Ghana would depend on how the decision is perceived by different stakeholders and the broader public. It's essential for decision-makers to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks carefully, ensuring that the process is inclusive and takes into account varied perspectives to minimize political miscalculations. In the rechristening, it is important to gauge public sentiments and examine the political impact. The history might be at your side but the politics will be high against you. This debate, for me, is one we will continue to have. Shalom

Abdallah Abdul Matin
Aide, Hon.Farouk Aliu Mahama