Politics should be for service, not for money -Prof Alabi

BY: Arku Jasmine

Prof. Joshua Alabi, Vice Chancellor of UPSAProfessor Joshua Alabi, the pioneer Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies (UPSA), Accra, is one of the known politicians of recent times to have made a very tough decision to abandon active politics and retrace his steps to the classroom.

Prof. Alabi a former Member of Parliament for the Krowor Constituency and Minister for the Greater Accra and Northern regions under the Jerry Rawlings’ administration, decided to return to his former place of work, the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS), and continue as a lecturer.

He is credited for the change of status of the institute and has shrugged off the little perks and influences that get politicians addicted to their profession even if their popularity and respect keep dwindling by the day.

“It is good to go into politics but it should not be motivated by the urge to make money. It should be the motivation to serve the people because if one conducts oneself properly while in political office, it opens doors for the fellow”.

“And since I left politics for the academia, a lot of doors have opened for me wherever I went,” he stated.
Prof.  Alabi, an Associate Professor in International Marketing, served the university for 25 years including three years as Dean of Management Faculty, four years as Pro-Rector and another four as Rector, and was inducted as the first Vice Chancellor on November 21, 2012.

Now in this prestigious position, Prof. Alabi has enriched his credentials and his image continues to soar, especially in academic circles.

Recently, he was adjudged the Most Inspirational Public Sector Leader for 2012 by IMANI Ghana, a public think-tank. 


A member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Ghana (CITG), Prof. Alabi was appointed Rector of the university, then an institute, in January 2009 and is currently serving his second term as Vice Chancellor.

Prof. Alabi has publications in the area of political marketing, marketing of infant food and microfinance.

Prof. Alabi has over 25 years of experience in professional practice as a lecturer, and previously taught in the marketing department of the university.

He served as Head of the Marketing Department and subsequently, Dean of the Management Faculty of the university.

Key milestones at UPSA

Prof. Alabi was instrumental in the numerous international networks and collaborations as well as the massive infrastructural developments of the university.

He is also credited for the advancing institutional learning, improvement in research and the development of information communication technology infrastructure.

Prof. Alabi also established the university’s quality assurance unit, the public relations directorate and the development and enhancement of library services

Philosophy in life

Prof. Alabi said he has one basic philosophy which, when adopted across the world, would surely lead to global peace and harmony.

“I believe women should be allowed to make 95 per cent of decisions at home in order to ensure peace, tranquillity and family cohesion.”

He explained that it was always good to enjoy peace in the home because if one does not have peace, there is no way one would be able to work effectively.

He cited some world leaders and other statesmen who, at one point or another, have been named as being controlled by their wives.

He argued that such leaders always succeeded in their scheme of things and, therefore, needed to be applauded for allowing their wives to be part of the decision making process which affected the home and society at large.

“My case is a perfect example. We need a strong man like me to manage a woman like my wife, also a professor. She is very meticulous and very academic and she expects everybody to be like her.”

Marital life

Prof. Alabi is married to Professor Goski Alabi, an Associate Professor in Management and Leadership and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies of the UPSA.

She holds a doctorate degree in Management from the Swiss Management University.

Prof. Alabi commended his wife for her support and contribution in all the major changes at the university. They have two children, Borley and Bortey Alabi.

Early life and education

Prof. Alabi was born on March 1, 1958 in Accra and hails from Nungua in the Greater Accra Region.

He started his education at the St John’s Primary School at Achimota from 1964 to 1971. He then proceeded to the Tamale Senior High School from 1971 to 1976.

The Vice Chancellor of UPS attended the then IPS from 1976 to 1980 where he attained part three of the Society of Company and Commercial Accountant (SCCA, UK) Professional programme.

Prof. Alabi received his Master of Science (MSc) degree in Industrial Economics in 1986 from the Moscow Institute of National Economics, now Russian Economics University in Moscow, Russia, and MSc degree in International Marketing in 1991 from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland.

Other interests

Prof. Alabi has deep knowledge in football administration at both global and national levels. The man of many parts was a member of the management board of the Ghana Football Association and co-ordinator of the senior national team, the Black Stars.

The Vice Chancellor of UPS is a member of the UPS Governing Council and serves on various statutory committees of the council, including the Finance Committee, Academic Board and Executive Committee.

Prof. Alabi is currently the Chairperson of the Governing Council of Accra Polytechnic, Chairperson of the Ghana Book Development Council, member of the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO and Chairperson of the Social Science Committee of the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO.

By Vance Azu