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Regional News of Monday, 30 November 2020


VVU’s head of IT department becomes first to graduate with PhD in Computer Science from University of Ghana

Head of the Information Technology Department at the Valley View University, Accra, Kofi Sarpong Adu Head of the Information Technology Department at the Valley View University, Accra, Kofi Sarpong Adu

Head of the Information Technology Department at the Valley View University, Accra, Kofi Sarpong Adu-Manu, has made history at the University of Ghana by becoming the first to graduate with a PhD in Computer Science.

More to this, he emerged as the best graduating PhD student from University of Ghana’s Graduate School.

Kofi Sarpong Adu-Manu passed out from the University of Ghana during its 2020 November/December virtual congregation ceremony.

Giving his valedictory speech, he acknowledged his mother for inspiring him to pursue excellence in education.

“Personally, growing up, I was inspired by the words of my mother. ‘Kofi, work hard at school and become great’. She gave up her opportunity to complete her education for my existence because she was pregnant with me. She was encouraged by an older woman to keep the pregnancy because the child will be great in the future. I was her investment.,” he said.

He added: "I was inspired by several academics, friends, and by the novels I have read. I have always encouraged myself with phrases such as ‘think big and aim high’ and live by the quote from Winston Churchill, ‘Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts."

Kofi Sarpong Adu-Manu lauded the University of Ghana for creating an enabling environment for PhD students amidst the challenges that exist in pursuing such a degree in the country.

“It is challenging pursuing a PhD in Ghana. Reasons include lack of funding, lack of resource centres, lack of laboratories, lack of offices for PhD candidates, and the fear of perpetually staying on the programme. Most of us have to work to raise funds to support ourselves and to survive in the programme. Here at the University of Ghana, we were fortunate to be offered top-class education that sets us apart from our peers. Amidst the stated challenges, UG created a conducive environment for us to reach our maximum potential and open doors of opportunity of which most of us took advantage."

"I must here acknowledge the extraordinary work being done by the University of Ghana through the BANGA project to support post-graduate training and research. UG provided me with an opportunity to travel to different parts of the world and work with different professors and meet other colleagues. This opportunity expanded my research knowledge and network of friends."

Being the first to graduate with a PhD from the UG Computer Science Department, Kofi Sarpong Adu-Manu said that he does not intend to disappoint.

He disclosed that his goal was to create a digital hub in the continent that will spearhead the use of technology in addressing environmental challenges that affect Africans.

He also called on University management to allocate more resources to the Computer Department so they can contribute to the development agenda of the country.

“My goal is to work towards the creation of a digital hub in Africa to grow technology giants. These giants will be empowered to use technology to provide solutions to environmental challenges that affect Africans. I intend to set up a consortium that will facilitate the use of technology to monitor environmental phenomena such as water and air quality, tracking endangered species, monitoring vehicular traffic, and other essential applications. I believe that many of our problems have digital solutions, therefore, calling on the government and the university authorities to empower the Computer department so they can contribute meaningfully to the developmental agenda of our country,” he said.

In view of the coronavirus pandemic, Kofi Sarpong Adu-Manu has challenged his colleagues to help in finding the cure to the coronavirus disease.

“COVID-19 still challenges our world because many people are still being infected and dying daily. For a graduating class, the research problem has been identified and we must contribute to finding the solution. I am confident that one day, we shall obtain the cure to this virus menace.”