Dr J. B. Danquah’s role in getting Ghana its first university must be recognised by naming the University of Ghana after him, the Dean of Graduate Studies of the Methodist University College, Professor Kodwo Ewusi, has suggested.
According to Prof. Ewusi, it was Dr Danquah’s unrelenting stance to have a university in the then Gold Coast, despite the colonialists’ decision to site only one in Nigeria for the West African sub-region, that eventually paid off and gave Ghana its first institution of higher learning.
He said, “Among his [Dr Danquah’s] illustrious accomplishments was his unyielding fight to have a University of Ghana established here in 1948.”
Prof. Ewusi was delivering a lecture last Monday at the 48th Danquah Memorial Lectures in Accra, which attracted New Patriotic Party (NPP) stalwarts such as the 2016 flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; Mr Hackman Owusu Agyemang, a former Minister of State; Prof. Mike Oquaye, a former Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament; and Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa South.
“The British government accepted a minority report that they should not establish universities in all the West African states and that they should establish only one university in Nigeria.
“Against this, Dr Danquah argued in legislature; he also argued in seminars. Finally the British government was persuaded to accept the majority report and establish the University of Ghana.
“For this contribution, I think that the University of Ghana should indeed be called J.B. Danquah University of Ghana,” he said to an applause from the audience.
Addressing the packed audience at the opening of the three-day lecture being held on the theme; “Human Capital and Economic Growth in Ghana,” Prof. Ewusi also extolled Dr Danquah for publishing seven books that were still being consulted by students of sociology, religion and law, thereby still influencing the thinking of the future generation.
Danquah’s role in nationhood
Touching on the contribution of Dr Danquah to the formation of Ghana as a nation state, Prof. Ewusi, whose lecture was on the topic “History of Development of Human Capital Theory,” said he seriously canvassed and convinced the Ashanti and the Northern Territories to join the then Gold Coast.
He said Dr Danquah also furnished the country with the name ‘Ghana’, which it adopted after independence in 1957. “The mention of the name ‘Ghana’ gives praise to the memory of Dr Danquah,” he said.