University of Ghana confers honorary degrees
Accra, March 12 GNA - Professor Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana (UG), Legon on Friday said Ghana's development could be accelerated if the universities were well endowed to enable them to play their role effectively.
He said the role of universities was becoming more important in the development process at a time when knowledge was a major determining factor for the outcome of the process.
"The complexities of modern day governance, science and technology advancement and Information Technology Communication revolution in a global environment call for a highly trained labour force," he said. The Vice Chancellor was addressing a special congregation held to confer honorary doctorate degrees on six men and two women who have achieved distinction in their careers, professions and contributed immensely to Ghana's development.
Those honoured for their contribution to higher education and community advancement were, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah-Turkson, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference and Dr Matthew Anum Barnor, a medical practitioner.
Professor Ivan Addae-Mensah, a Chemist and former Vice Chancellor of the University and Professor Miranda Laura Naabea Greenstreet, former Director of the Institute of Adult Education also of the University were honoured for their contributions to the University.
Dr Kwame Anyane-Yeboah, a medical practitioner and Mr Yeboa Amoa, a lawyer and investment consultant were honoured as alumni whom the University was proud of in their contribution to mankind. Japan's Ambassador in Ghana, Mrs Kazuko Asai was honoured for her outstanding contribution to international development.
The ninth personality, Dr Ebrahim Malick Samba, the WHO Regional Representative for Africa who was honoured in the same category was not present.
The University established, about 56 years ago has conferred honorary degrees on 78 individuals for varied considerations. They included Mr Kofi Atta Annan, the UN Secretary-General, President Nelson Mandela, former South African President, Professor Ali Mazrui, a well known African poet and Oyeeman Wereko Ampem, Amanorkomhene and Gyaasehene of Akwapim.
Prof. Asenso-Okyere said Ghana's economy had achieved some level of macro stability but before it could be translated into real improvements in the lives of the people, it had grown.
He said economic growth required adoption of appropriate technology that could reduce cost of production and raise the factor of productivity.
Prof. Asenso-Okyere noted that given the requisite resources, the University of Ghana could produce the knowledge required for national development, adding, "...all the individuals we are honouring today can impart positively on the mission of the University of Ghana and we welcome any role they may want to play.
"As you renew your membership of this fraternity or join it through today's ceremony, we would like you to become goodwill ambassadors of the university so that its image will be lifted even higher." He said, it had been hard work for all of them and urged them to continue to work for the total emancipation of the Ghanaian people from poverty, avoidable diseases and ignorance.
Mrs. Asai, in response, expressed her appreciation, saying " I'm deeply honoured to have such a prestigious degree from the University of Ghana."
She said most intelligent and highly educated people in the country have so impressed her since she came into the country. "Ghana is endowed not only by natural resources but also culturally and with intelligent human resources."
She dedicated the honour conferred on her to her predecessors and country as well other countries' ambassadors who have been working hard for the development of Ghana.
Cardinal Appiah-Turkson thanked the University on behalf of the eight recipients of the gesture and said that it was only education at the highest level that could propel Ghana forward.