The Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, on Tuesday 23 November 2021 inducted into Fellowship eleven distinguished Ghanaian personalities comprising Prof. Kofi Agyekum, Professor of Linguistics; Prof. Martin Odei Ajei, Professor of Philosophy and Classics; Justice Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo (Rtd), Former Chief Justice of The Supreme Court of Ghana; Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Professor of Linguistics; Prof. Adams Bonlacher Bodomo, Professor of African Languages and Literature and Prof. Peter Quartey, Professor of Economics from the Arts Section; and Prof. Victor Kwame Agyeman, Professor of Forest Ecology; Prof. Regina Appiah-Opong, Professor of Toxicology/Pharmacology; Prof. Peter Richter Lamptey, Professor of Public Health; Prof. Eric Sampane-Donkor, Professor of Bacteriology and Global Health; and Dr. Nii Narku Quaynor, Computer Scientist, from the Sciences Section.
The 11 inducted Fellows were individually cited for their diligence, industry and invaluable contributions to their various and respective fields of study (See full citations here).
Speaking at the Induction ceremony, Emeritus Prof Sefa-Dedeh welcomed the inducted Fellows to join the other Fellows in taking their rightful places and contributing to make the academy relevant to society.
Prof Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, speaking on behalf of the inducted Fellows thanked the Academy for the honour done them and gave the assurance that as expected, all eleven inducted Fellows would bring their many and varied skills and knowledge to bear on the Academy’s work of providing thought leadership in the nation’s developmental efforts.
Earlier in his introductory remarks, whilst delivering his Presidential Address, Emeritus Prof Sefa-Dedeh said the National Constitution ought to be a masterpiece document for ensuring a sustainable, equitable and prosperous society. Therefore, the collective decision of the people couched in the constitution, to create a sustainable, equitable and prosperous society must be recognized and a way found expeditiously to develop entrenched provisions in the Constitution through a national dialogue and consensus on agreed areas of development to ensure that society benefits from progressive, strategic plans and implementation, irrespective of who wins a mandate to lead and govern the nation. He said, the principles, core values and the policy direction must have a national character and guaranteed improvements in these sectors without the shunting or variation by political actors. Speaking on the theme; “Anchoring codes to increase the effectiveness of a Learned Society,” Emeritus Professor Sefa-Dedeh drew analogies from the usage of quick response (QR) code which holds information both horizontally and vertically and has impacted global applications immensely, to argue that like the QR code, the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences could and should anchor its codes of People, Processes, and Partnerships for increased effectiveness and impact, whilst keeping the core principles for its establishment and recognizing the changing environments in order not to risk becoming an impractical, silent influencer (read Full Presidential Address here).
He said the support of government, national and international organizations will enrich and provide needed support for the Academy. Therefore, actions taken to ensure the building of strong partnerships must be encouraged and GAAS should be more proactive with both national and international entities; by showing, at the local level, interest in the work of its mother ministry, the Ministry of Education, and providing relevant inputs to guide policy. Adding that the Academy’s GAAS-Parliament twinning program and its School Lectures series must be reactivated.
Prior to the Induction ceremony, the 11 Fellows participated in the Academy’s maiden pre-induction orientation webinar to acclimatize themselves with the duties, functions and role of the Academy and its Fellows. The webinar was addressed by former Presidents of the Academy; Nana Dr S.K.B. Asante; Justice Prof Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu; as well as the incumbent President of the Academy, Emeritus Prof Samuel Kofi Sefa-Dedeh.
The Founder’s Week Lectures is the oldest of its traditions. It started in November 1960 as the first Anniversary celebration and has continued every November since then. It starts with the Presidential Address, followed by a two-day symposium on a select subject of topical or national interest. This year’s symposium on the theme” Ghana’s 1992 Constitution: Fit for Purpose?” is being spoken to by Prof. Raymond Akongburo Atuguba, Associate Professor and Dean, School of Law, University of Ghana on the topic ‘Achievements and Enduring Legacy of the 1992 Constitution’; and Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, FGA, Former Vice Chancellor, University of Ghana;
Secretary-General, African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) ‘Prof. Raymond Akongburo Atuguba, Associate Professor and Dean, School of Law, University of Ghana on the topic ‘Achievements and Enduring Legacy of the 1992 Constitution’; and Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, FGA, Former Vice Chancellor, University of Ghana; Secretary-General, African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) on the topic ‘Threats and Challenges to Constitutional Governance: Political Culture, Corruption and Missing Civil Society Advocacy’ on Wednesday 24 November 2021; and Justice Prof Sir Dennis Dominic Adjei, Fellow of the Academy; Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana on the topic ‘Bolstering other Arms of State as Counterweight to Executive Power’; and Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, Chairperson of Star-Ghana; Former Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies on the topic ‘ Promoting Local Governance, Decentralisation and Democratic Engagement’ on Thursday 25 November 2021 (see full programme here).
The last day is dedicated to what used to be called the Anniversary Lecture, now renamed the ‘Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Lecture’ in memory of the Ghana’s 1st president, who also established the Academy. The topic for the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Lecture on Friday 26 November 2021 is “Reflections on the Ghanaian Regulatory State” by Prof. Joseph Robert Atsu Ayee, a Fellow of the Academy.