President Nana Akufo-Addo is convinced posterity will be kind to Joseph Boakye Danquah for his role in the establishment of Ghana’s premier tertiary institution, the University of Ghana.
The President said that his uncle, J.B. Danquah’s pioneering work to reject the British report that proposed a single university for the whole of West Africa in Nigeria and to mobilise Ghanaians to have their own university, led to the establishment of the University of Ghana.
He insists that one will not be wrong in describing the Ghanaian scholar and politician as the founder of the University of Ghana.
“Indeed, in many other jurisdictions where there is less heat in their politics and more attachment to the fact of historical record, it would not have been out of place to have this university named after him. Who knows, one day it may well happen,” the president added.
President Akufo-Addo made these comments at the 75th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service of the University of Ghana.
The president made similar remarks five years ago, when the university launched an endowment fund as part of its 70th anniversary celebration.
This generated a huge debate as to who should be credited for the establishment of the nation’s premier university.
“It will be wholly appropriate and not at all far-fetched to describe Joseph Boakye Danquah as the founder of this university [the University of Ghana], a fact that, on the 75th anniversary of its existence, should be vividly recalled by all of us who are being and are the beneficiaries of his work,” he said.
At the time, four public universities were renamed. Many believed the president was preparing the grounds to have the University of Ghana renamed after J.B. Danquah, who was a member of the Big Six.
The president believes J.B. Danquah merits any proposal to have the university named after him.
However, he indicated that the polarised politics in the nation appear to have overridden historical accounts of events, making it difficult to honour the Pan-Africanist.
President Akufo-Addo congratulated the University of Ghana on its diamond jubilee anniversary and the role it has played in the nation’s development.
Credit: Emmanuel Dzivenu