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General News of Tuesday, 1 October 2002

Source: Graphic

Legon honours Prof. Benneh

THE former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor George Benneh, has called for the establishment of a national forum of scientists, technologists and researchers to harness research, science and technology for the sustainable development of the country.

He said that in the 21st Century, it is properly applied scientific knowledge that can be used to create wealth and accelerate development.

Prof Benneh said this at a ceremony in Accra yesterday at which the authorities of the University of Ghana conferred an Honorary Doctorate degree on him in recognition of his contributions as a teacher, researcher and administrator towards the development of the university in particular and the country as whole.

The ceremony was attended by the chairman of the Council of State, Prof Alex Kwapong who was the first Ghanaian Vice-Chancellor of the university, ministers of state, members of the University Council, members from the academia and a delegation including chiefs from Berekum where Prof Benneh comes from.

Prof Benneh said that Ghana has to move forward as the pacesetter and pride of Africa to join the league of developed nations in the world.

He said in the country?s quest to develop, it is sometimes crucial to ?to fish for knowledge in the ancestral pool of knowledge in all fields of learning because they were creative enough to devise ways to survive in this environment.?

He said it is only by tapping the expanding stock of world knowledge that Ghana can reduce the level of poverty and be able to compete in the global market.

He thanked the university for the honour done him and said that such recognitions are important because they serve to spur on others to strive for higher achievements.

The chancellor of the university, Nana Wereko Ampem II, said the conferment was belated because the university had planned to bestow the degree on Prof Benneh together with nine other distinguished personalities including Mr Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa in March this year but circumstances did not permit him to be present on that occasion.

Reading the citation accompanying the honour, the Registrar of the University of Ghana, Mr A.T. Konu, said Prof Benneh was being honoured for contributing in varied but discernible ways to the physical, academic, and the human resource development of the university. He added that these contributions continued when he became a ?full Professor of Geography, Head of Department, Dean of the Faculty of Social Studies, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Vice Chancellor.?

The citation further said ?you have served your country well by holding the following ministerial appointments: Lands and Natural Resources, Fuel and Power and Finance and Economic Planning.?

The citation concluded that ?for your service as a teacher, a scholar, an administrator, a visionary and institution builder, the University of Ghana, your alma mater, is privileged to confer on you the Degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.?

Prof Ivan Addae-Mensah, the outgoing Vice Chancellor of the university, said Prof Benneh served as a source of inspiration to him and described him as an epitome of excellence.