Fifteen people have been inducted as fellows of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS).
They are the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences of the University of Ghana (UG) and Quiz Mistress of the National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ), Professor Elsie Effah Kaufmann; the lawyer and social activist, Ace Anan Ankomah; the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari, and the Director of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), Prof. Dorothy Yeboah-Manu.
The others are a former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, UG, Prof. Samuel Agyei-Mensah; a renowned ethno-musicologist and former keyboard player for the legendary musician, Nana Kwame Ampadu, Prof. Kwasi Ampene; a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan, USA, Prof. Herbert Graves Winful; a former lecturer in Chemistry at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Prof. Evans Adei; a nutrition scientist, Prof. Richmond Nii Okai Aryeetey, and a Professor of Public Health at the UG, Prof. Amos Kankponang Laar.
The rest are a Deputy Director of Students Affairs, KNUST, Prof. Marian Asantewaa Nkansah; a former Head of the Department of Pathology, UG, Prof. Jehoram Tei Anim; a former Chief Director of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Prof. Bruce Banoeng-Yakubo; the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, University of Cape Coast (UCC), Prof. Sarah Darkwa, and a Professor at the Department of Chemistry, UG, Prof. Dorcas Osei-Safo.
The ceremony, attended by the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, was part of activities to mark this year’s GAAS Founder’s Week celebration.
The President of GAAS, Prof. Samuel Kofi Sefah-Dedeh, said the academy decided to induct the 15 new fellows because of the positive contributions they had made in their respective fields and to national development.
He said the new fellows would be part of GAAS, where their expertise and intellectual abilities would be harnessed for national development and the advancement of global development efforts.
He urged the new fellows to abide by the tenets of the academy and continue to be trailblazers in their respective fields.
“The GAAS is the cradle of multi-disciplinary knowledge. Let the core values of the academy, which are excellence, integrity, relevance and professionalism, be your goalposts as you continue to demonstrate leadership and service in your fields of study and vocation,” he said.
Prof. Sefah-Dedeh said since its establishment in 1959, GAAS had contributed immensely to the advancement of the arts and the sciences in the country and national development.
Apart from promoting the study and dissemination of knowledge in arts and sciences, he said, the academy had also engaged in developmental research activities for the country.
Currently, he said, GAAS, the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and other institutions were collaborating on a research on how to use cocoa as an enhancer in the treatment of infectious and life-threatening diseases such as COVID-19.
“This GH¢800,000 project is a collaborative effort involving fellows of GAAS, COCOBOD and some institutions and hospitals. This collaboration is going on well,” he said.
Again, he said, the academy had submitted a proposal to the Inter-academy Partnership (IAP), a global association of academies of arts and sciences, for the establishment of a multi-functional science and technology centre in Ghana to enhance science education at the primary and the secondary school levels.
“At this proposed centre, one is expected to experience science and technology applications through hands-on projects, exhibitions, teaching and learning to promote science literacy, appreciation and applications,” he added.
The GAAS was established in 1959 by the country’s first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, as the premier learned society in the country.
It brings together intellectuals and experts who have distinguished themselves in their fields to constitute a think tank in Arts and Sciences that will advise the government on pertinent issues of national development.