H. E. President John Dramani Mahama payed a courtesy call on the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences on Tuesday 17th December, 2013, during which period he held talks with the Academy’s Council and inspected progress of work on a 12Million Ghana-Cedi Auditorium and Office Complex Project. This was the third visit of President John Dramani Mahama since 2009 when he officially launched the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Academy, then as Vice President.
Prof. Francis K. A. Allotey, President of the Academy expressed the Academy Council’s delight at the President taking time off his busy schedule to visit the Academy, when the request had been the Academy’s to pay a courtesy call on him at the Presidency. Prof. Allotey said the Academy was keen to put the expertise of Fellows of the Academy at the disposal of government.
Other Council Members said it was imperative for the Presidency to systematize channels of communication between the Presidency and the Academy. This could be achieved through:
- Assurance of the Presidency of its preparedness for input from the Academy;
- Collaboration of GAAS and the Presidency to inspire scholarship and excellence;
- The establishment of an endowment fund to allow the Academy to build greater financial independence with which to execute its mandate.
President Mahama gave an undertaking to be present at the opening of the 2014 Founder’s Week Celebrations which the Presidency is going to fund together with the Academy’s Annual Dinner and Awards Night henceforth.
Council Members expressed concern that knowledge being readily offered to Government from all quarters may be sponsored by vested interests and that Government needed its own bonafide, objective platform such as the Academy to serve as a ‘sieve’ of information and knowledge offered to the Presidency and Government.
President Mahama said he was delighted at the call by the Academy to be recognized and deployed by Government and that he on his part was going to lend the full weight of the Presidency to highlight the important work the Academy is doing and to give it greater public visibility.
He said a major issue he would want the Academy look into promptly for him was ‘How to diversify the nation’s economy and get the manufacturing sector for instance, to respond to stimulus from Government’.
The President concluded his visit with a tour of the GAAS Building Project Site, which according to the Project Architect and Honorary Secretary of the Academy, Prof. Ralph Mills-Tettey, is 75% complete. The President assured the contractor and the Academy of Government’s commitment to see through the completion of the project within the stipulated time.
Council Members of the Academy at the meeting with the President comprised: Prof. F.K.A. Allotey, President; Prof. Akilagpa Sawyerr, Vice President (Arts); Prof. Elizabeth Ardayfio-Schandorf, Honorary Treasurer; prof. Ralph Mills-Tettey, Honorary Secretary; Prof. Takyiwaa Manuh, Assistant Honorary Secretary (Arts); Prof. Jacob Songsore, Member; Prof. Kofi Anyidoho, Member; Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, Member and Prof. Reginald Fraser Amonoo, Immediate Past President.