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24.11.2009 General News

Election of young persons into GASS advocated

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Accra, Nov. 24, GNA - Professor Reginald Fraser Amonoo, President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS), has called for the election of young fellows into the group, to boost its activities and ensure continuity of research.

He said the current procedure for accepting persons into the think tank, even though aimed at ensuring the highest level of recruitment, was too cumbersome and favoured only prominent personalities.

Prof. Amonoo made the call at the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the Academy and the start of the Founder's Week Lectures, instituted in honour of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first President and founder of the GAAS, in Accra on Monday.

It was organized by the Academy in collaboration with the Kwame Nkrumah Centenary Planning Committee (KNCPC) on the theme: "Promoting excellence in knowledge: 50 years of the GAAS".

Prof. Amonno said: "The system favours known personalities, who are likely to be proposed in the first instance. There have been unfortunate consequences, in that we can appear to be the "University of Ghana Academy", due to the relative neglect of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Cape Coast, University of Education, Winneba, and University For Development Studies ".

He said most fellows of the Academy were relatively old and there was the fear that if the procedure was not revived to encourage younger but not well-known persons to join the GAAS, it might run out of members.

Prof. Amonno said even though the Academy had remained a development-oriented body, professing solutions to challenges facing the nation, successive governments did not fully appreciate its roles.

He expressed worry that government had failed to provide the Academy with an office accommodation and called for more funding from the authorities to enhance the activities of the GASS.

Prof. Amonno said despite challenges, the Academy had promoted excellence in knowledge acquisition by holding public lectures and symposia, which generated valuable ideas for national development.

He said the Academy would liaise with government ministries, civil society and other think tanks such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Institute of Economic Affairs, Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research to promote excellence.

He commended past Presidents and fellows of the Academy for working hard to make the group and important one.

Dr S.K. B Asante, former President of the GAAS, who chaired the event, presented a gold-plated seal made in the form the emblem of the Academy.

Justice Professor Anselmus Kodjo Paaku Kludze, Prof. David Ofori-Adjei and Prof. Ernest Aryeetey were inducted as new Fellows of the Academy.

Dr Mohammed Abdulai, a member of the KNCPC, who represented Prof. Akilakpa Sawyer, Chairman of the Committee, called on the GAAS to encourage other African countries to set up an Academy to give Dr Nkrumah a befitting memory.

Dr Abdulai said the KNCPC was happy to be associated with the 50th Anniversary Celebrations the GAAS.

The Academy was foundered in November 1959 to serve as a think tank to contribute actively to the development of Ghana and Africa generally by examining and addressing crucial issues of development, and it currently falls under and receives funding from the National Council for Tertiary Education.


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