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General News of Friday, 5 April 2019


Academy of Arts and Sciences contributed in expanding knowledge - Prof Asante

Nana Prof S.K.B Asante, the Paramount Chief of Asante Asokore, said the Academy of Arts and Sciences has contributed immensely in expanding the frontiers of knowledge and impacted on national development.

Prof. Asante said the Academy’s scholarly lectures had provoked a national debate on strategic areas of concern for social cohesion and national transformation.

Among the lectures were the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial lecture, the J.B. Danquah Memorial lecture and the Ephraim Amu Memorial lecture.

He said this on Thursday in Accra at the launch of the 60th anniversary of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) on the theme: “Sixty Years of Scholarly Excellence: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects”.

Prof Asante, former President of the GAAS said the Academy had advised government on national issues and contributed to the country’s constitutional reforms.

Touching on the achievements of the Academy, Prof Asante said the Academy had collaborated with the International Academic Union to embark on translations of the country’s historical documents into African languages.

“The Academy provided support for the preparation of the Twi dictionary by Prof. Ofosu-Appiah and the Ga dictionary by Reverend E. A Engman. This promoted the retrieval of the country’s oral history, and forms of knowledge.

He stated that the Academy had undertaken the publication of books of artistic importance, stressing that, through collective efforts, the Academy provided a mechanism for the presentation and publication of scholarly works by fellows and other scholars.

Focusing on ways of promoting excellence in the Academy, Prof Asante said “people of proven academic excellence should be elected and rewarded for their scholarly excellence” to inspire promising scholars.

On challenges facing the Academy, Prof Asante explained that, scholarly excellence was reflected in continuous publications, however, publications in the Academy had been impeded by the lack of funds.

“The publication of the Dictionary of African Biographies did not survive the first volume. The publication of individual lectures has also been withheld or delayed due to financial constraints”, he stated.

He lauded the government for supporting the Academy with a multi-purpose complex, and urged its leadership to explore ways of mobilizing money to support its activities.

The Professor said the Academy lacked adequate Human Resource and did not have the core of professionals equipped to conduct research under the supervision of fellows.

“I urge the academy to establish a Junior Academy of which members could be mentored to undertake productive research. There should be the admission of Younger Fellows into the academy who would be energetic and dynamic enough to prosecute scholarly enterprise”.