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Emeritus Professor Samuel Sefa-Dedeh Takes Over GAAS Presidency

Emeritus Prof. Samuel Sefah-Dedeh


Her Ladyship, Justice Professor Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, JSC, FGA has handed over the office of President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) to Emeritus Prof. Samuel Kofi Sefa-Dedeh, FGA for the period 2021-2022. The changing of batons took place at a brief ceremony held at the GAAS Secretariat at No.1 Casely Hayford Road, Research Crescent, Airport Resident Area, Accra on 14th January 2020.

Justice Professor Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu said, being the first post-independence born President of GAAS, she knew her generation was on trial when she first took up office and felt gratified that with the able support of Council Members and Fellows of the Academy, she had not disappointed her generation.

She mentioned that some notable milestones reached under her tenure include the development of a new GAAS strategic Plan (2019-2024), “which is to guide the orderly development of GAAS”; improved Fellows’ Welfare and working conditions of Principal Officers and Secretariat Staff; finished work on a new GAAS bill; improved efforts towards the strengthening of bonds with external bodies that GAAS collaborates with. She said she had no doubt that with the immense support she enjoyed from the incoming President, “GAAS was in a safe pair of hands”.

Responding, Emeritus Professor Samuel Kofi Sefa-Dedeh, FGA the new GAAS President, said he, together with the new Council members, would work with the Secretariat and the distinguished Fellows of the Academy to ensure the strategic relevance of GAAS to national development.

He indicated his intention to reverse the growing trend of electing Fellows when they are well into their sixties (60s), whereas at the inception of the Academy it was commonplace for distinguished persons below the age of thirty (30) to be elected into Fellowship. He said he would explore all possible means by which GAAS could identify relatively younger and eligible scholars for consideration for Fellowship.

Emeritus Professor Sefa-Dedeh is the Foundation Dean of the School of Engineering Sciences, University of Ghana. He is the immediate past Vice President of the Sciences Section of GAAS; a Fellow of honorary learned societies including the International Academy of Food Science and Technology and the Kellogg Foundation Leadership Programme in Food Systems; and Former Chairperson of the Millennium Development Authority, Ghana.

Other members of the new Council include;

  1. Prof. Kofi Opoku Nti, Game Theorist and Former Dean of the University of Ghana Business School, as Vice President of the Arts Section;
  2. Emerita Prof. Isabella Akyinbah Quakyi, Professor of Immunology and Parasitology, and Foundation Dean of School of Public Health (SPH), College of Health and Allied Sciences, University of Ghana (UG), as Vice President of the Sciences Section;
  3. Prof. Lade Wosornu, Professor of Surgery (Retired), Founding Fellow of the Ghana College of Surgeons, and Member, Ghana Medical Association and West African College of Surgeons, as Honorary Treasurer;
  4. Prof. Helen Atawube Yitah, Professor of English; Dean of the School of Languages, University of Ghana (UG), and Founding Director, University of Ghana-Carnegie Writing Center, as Honorary Secretary;
  5. Professor Arthur Commey Sackeyfio, Founding Dean of the University of Ghana School of Pharmacy;
  6. Dr. Eugenia Date-Bah, Former Director, Crisis Response and InFocus (International Focus) Programme, International Labour Organization (ILO);
  7. Emerita Prof. Takyiwaa Manuh, Vice Chairperson, National Development Planning Commission (NDPC); and Former Director, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon.
  8. Prof. Alfred Apau Oteng-Yeboah; Professor, Department of Plant and Environmental Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon; 
  9. Rev. Prof. Johnson Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, President, Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon, Accra; and
  10. Justice Professor Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, immediate Past President of GAAS; Professor of Law and Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana.

The Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences is a learned society established by an Act of Parliament in 1959 to promote the study of the arts and sciences and the extension and dissemination of knowledge in these disciplines. With a membership of 220 Fellows drawn from varied fields of learning, the Academy has from its inception assumed the important responsibility of introducing new directions in research and influencing national policy through its scholarship.

By: Korang Kwadwo Isaac (GAAS Communications)