President Akufo-Addo with late former President Jerry John Rawlings
President Akufo-Addo has reiterated his commitment to rename the University for Development Studies (UDS) after the late former President Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings.
President Akufo-Addo, addressing congregants of the UDS at a graduation ceremony in Tamale, said the immense works undertaken by the late former President Rawlings and his government resulted in the establishment of the university, adding that the late former President used his prize money of $50,000 from World Food Prize as seed money to help in the establishment of the university.
“In 2017, I indicated to the late former President, through the Education Minister and with the knowledge of the university board chair, my decision to name the UDS after him in recognition of his personal contribution towards the establishment of UDS, but he respectfully declined that honour and offer because of his principles not to have national monuments and facilities named after him,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said, “Notwithstanding the sentiments and with all due respect to him, it is my strong belief, which I am sure, and with the backing of the great majority of Ghanaians, that such an honour should be accorded to him.”
He commended the governing council and management of the UDS for the massive development of the university, adding that UDS was no longer a last resort university.
“An institution that began in 1993 with 39 students, UDS, the premier university in the northern sector of this country, had grown and now produces as many as 5,000 graduates annually in various disciplines; UDS is no longer the university of last resort as a result of hard work, foresight and determination of the management of the university has overseen the transformation of UDS into what it is today – as one of the best tertiary institutions in Ghana,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo appealed for management of the four campuses of the UDS in Wa, Navrongo, Nyankpala and Tamale to collaborate and work in harmony with each other for the growth and development of Northern Ghana.
He assured of governments commitment to initiate policies and programmes in universities to enhance the capability of graduates from the various tertiary institutions to contribute to the socioeconomic transformation of the country.
“It is my expectation and hope that UDS will continue to produce graduates who are molded to take on the possibilities and opportunities for higher achievement through innovation and creativity in today’s science and technology knowledge derived global economy, and help generate prosperity for the people of our time,” he said.
In 2013, UDS honoured the late former President Rawlings with a honourary doctorate degree and a bronze bust erected at one of the campuses to appreciate his role in the establishment of the university.
FROM Eric Kombat, Tamale