…and swears in EC Chair, members


President Akufo-Addo (middle) with Ms Jean Mensa (second from left) and other deputies.

President Akufo-Addo (middle) with Ms Jean Mensa (second from left) and other deputies.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday swore into office, Mrs. Mary Chinery-Hesse, as the first female Chancellor for the University of Ghana (UG), for a five-year term.

Mrs Chinery-Hesse, who has served in various capacities worldwide and currently Chair of Zenith Bank, Ghana, replaces former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, whose 10-year tenure ended on Tuesday, July 31, 2018.

At the investiture attended by a host of eminent personalities, family and associates worldwide , President Akufo-Addo charged her and heads of tertiary institutions to start preparing for the first batch of free senior high school (SHS) leavers.

“One of the immediate challenges, which will confront this university and others, will be the dramatically increased population of students, who will be seeking admission in some two years as a result of the free SHS policy.

I urge you and all heads of our tertiary institutions, to begin making adequate preparation towards this and the future. The free SHS policy will be a permanent feature of our educational architecture. We cannot be caught off guard,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo affirmed the government’s continued support to the universities in the country and he expressed the hope that UG would continue to produce graduates to contribute to the socio-economic growth of the country.

Describing Mrs. Chinery-Hesse as an outstanding Ghanaian and a worthier successor, he said her rich experience in diverse offices put her in good stead to help spur on the university onto greater heights.

“As the first female Chancellor of any Ghanaian university, Mrs. Chinery-Hesse blazes, again, a trail for other women to follow, and, moreover, I am sure the university will definitely feel the added benefit of that special quality that a woman can bring to leadership,” he stated.

President Akufo-Addo lauded “illustrious” Mr Annan, for his invaluable service and stewardship which helped the university attain the rank of the best in West Africa.

Mrs Chinery-Hesse thanked the university for believing in her capacities and pledged to put all the skills and network she has developed throughout her life at the disposal of the university.

Outlining her vision for the university, she said she would help build an institution rooted in Ghanaian and African realities and authoritative in its research as well as meet the highest international standards.

“I pledge to give of my best in making Legon soar up like the eagle and remain the brightest jewel in Ghana’s tertiary education crown,” she said and urged the university to create the enabling environment  for women in leadership.

Mrs Chinery-Hesse, the 10th Chancellor of UG, completed the university in 1962. She is an old student of the Wesley Girls High School and Mfantsipim School. She said served in several UN offices globally.

She has been the first female to occupy several positions including the Deputy Director of the International Labour Organisation. She was the chief advisor to former President John Kufour.

By Yaw Kyei

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