President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched a USD$100 million endowment fund for the University of Ghana as part of efforts to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the country’s premier university.
The establishment of the fund dovetails into the vision of the UG to become a world class research intensive university over the next decade.
According to the President, from modest beginnings in 1948, the University College of Gold Coast as it was then known, has evolved into one of Africa’s best universities and that today, there was world-wide recognition of the excellence of the university’s faculties and students and also for the professional successes chalked by her alumni both at home and abroad.
“Three of the five Presidents elected in the 4th Republic, have been produced here. The university continues to be a pacesetter, mentoring several higher tertiary institutions and think tanks in the country” the President noted.
UG has lived up to expectation
Over the years, the President added, the university has lived up to its mission of developing world class human resources and capabilities to meet the nation’s needs for development and also global challenges.
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Indeed, he said the university continued to be the centre of many scientific and technological innovations adding that the diversity of her research efforts and output in different disciplines, had been internationally acclaimed.
“It is thus laudable and appropriate that the university is establishing an endowment fund in this anniversary year to provide additional funding and resources to enable the university improve upon the delivery on its mandate,” the President said.
According to him, the proceeds from the fund were to assist in the provision of additional facilities to enhance research and teaching adding that “this is an excellent initiative”.
The President said the endowment fund such as the one being put in place by the university, formed the fulcrum around which most world class universities operated.
“My government fully supports and shares in your vision to become a research-intensive university and will do all in our power to help you actualize it,” he pledged.
Conduct innovative research
The President charged the university authorities and all other tertiary institutions in the country to find effective and innovative ways of linking up with industry and the corporate world to engage in quality and strategic research targeted at finding practical solutions to real life challenges of the society so that research findings would inure to the benefit of the country.
“Indeed, pursuant to our manifesto promise, to establish a research fund in addition to the book and research allowance, to facilitate further research innovation, I am pleased to inform you that this is currently receiving active consideration at the Cabinet level and I am confident that shortly, it will be establish by an act of Parliament.
Drawing on the history of the school, the President said anniversaries inevitably beget memories and for him, the most finite of those memories was “the unassailable work that Dr J.B. Danquah did in mobilising and nationalizing the Ghanaian people to insist on the building of this university.”
The role of Dr J.B. Danquah
He described the effort of Dr Danquah as far visionary leadership saying he was a great scholar and nationalist who was described as the doyen of Gold Coast politics.
His efforts, the President recounted, energized the Ghanaian people to reject the colonial government’s proposition that a single university should be established in Ibadan, Nigeria to cater for the entire British West Africa and getting them to agree to establish a separate university for Ghana.
The President described that decision as felicitous and greatly contributed to the growth and development of modern Ghana.
“It would be wholly appropriate and not at all farfetched to describe Joseph Boakye Danquah as the founder of this university. A fact, which on the 70th anniversary of this university should be vividly recalled by all of us who are the beneficiaries of his work” the President posited.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu said 2018 marked the 70th anniversary of the university.
Delivering on a mandate
He said in commemoration of its 70th anniversary, the endowment fund was being established to provide additional non-restricted funding to enable it improve the delivery on her mandate.
Prof. Oduro Owusu said it was expected that proceeds from the fund would assist in the provision of additional facilities and resources to enhance research and teaching.
“It is also envisaged that the funds so generated will be used for graduate training and thesis research, as well as for the upgrade of internet connectivity on all UG campuses and for the expansion of access to library facilities,” he explained.
Professor Oduro Owusu was assertive that “the University of Ghana is poised to distinguish herself in the area of research to make impact both at the national and international levels.”