University of Energy re-named after Prof. K.A. Busia

Sunyani, The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) has been re-named after the late Professor Kofi Abrefa Busia, the Prime Minister of the Second Republic of Ghana.

The Governing Council of the University, chaired by retired Professor Ambrose Kwame Tuah took the decision at its meeting held on Friday, August 3, 2018, and it is yet to receive parliamentary approval and presidential assent.

In accordance with the statutes of the University, once the parliamentary processes are completed, the University would thereafter be called K.A Busia University of Energy and Natural Resources (KABUENR).

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced this when he addressed the fourth congregation ceremony of the University on Saturday in Sunyani, where 1,113 students consisting of 228 females, representing 20.5 per cent and 885 males, indicating 79.5 per cent received undergraduate degrees and diplomas.

The University also graduated 30 postgraduate students, including; one international student from the Republic of Chad in the area of Natural Resources, Planning, Mathematics and Environmental Engineering.

President Akufo-Addo said the decision is an excellent one which will receive the blessing of the President of the Republic.

He described Prof. Busia as an illustrious son of the Bono Region, a renowned scholar, a noble Ghanaian, a devoted patriot, one who distinguished himself during his time as the leader of the opposition in the year and post-year of independence and as Prime Minister of our country from 1st October 1969 to that fateful day 13th January 1972 when the Second Republic was overthrown.

It is wholly fitting that this great man, who viewed freedom as a great align of progress should be properly honoured by a grateful posterity and especially by citizens of his native Bono Region, the President emphasised.

According to President Akufo-Addo, Prof. Busia believed that individual freedoms were not just about the space and ability to speak, walk, associate and assemble as well as to vote freely, but also about the capacity to stimulate an enterprise, creativity and innovation and thereby provide the inspiration for rapid economic development.

Nana Damoah Koasane Adese-Poku Kofabaaye IV, the ‘Akyeamehene’ (chief linguist) of the Wenchi Traditional Area and spokesperson for a delegation of chiefs and elders from the Wenchi Traditional Council in response expressed appreciation to President Akufo-Addo and the University Council for the honour bestowed on their kinsman.

This is what we were all waiting for, we hope the name of K.A. Busia will forever be remembered in the country, Nana Kofabaaye IV said.

Prof. Busia, a native and royal of Wenchi in the Bono Region of Ghana was born on Friday, July 11, 1913 and died on Monday, August 28, 1978 at 65 at Oxford, England in the United Kingdom.

He was educated at Methodist School, Wenchi, Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast, then at Wesley College (WESCO), Kumasi and later taught at Achimota School, Accra and WESCO.

Prof. Busia obtained his first degree with Honours in Medieval and Modern History from the University of London, through correspondence during the period of his teaching at Achimota and WESCO.

He then went on to study at University College, Oxford, where he was the College’s first African student and returned to the Gold Coast in 1942.

Prof Busia attained Bachelor of Arts (BA) Honours in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, 1941 and Master of Arts (MA) in 1946 and a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Anthropology in 1947 at Nuffield College, Oxford, with a thesis entitled “The Position of the Chief in the Modern Political system of Ashanti: A Study of the Influence of Contemporary Social Changes on Ashanti Political Institutions.

He served as a District Commissioner from 1942 to 1949 and was appointed first lecturer in African Studies, University College of the Gold Coast (now the University of Ghana) and became the first African to occupy a Chair at the University.

In 1951 he was elected by the Ashanti Confederacy to the Legislative Council and in 1952 and became Leader of Ghana Congress Party which later merged with the other opposition parties, including then Northern Peoples Party to form the United Party.

In 1959 Prof. Busia became a Professor of Sociology and Culture of Africa at the University of Leiden near the Hague, Netherlands while from 1962 to 1969, he was a Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford.

He returned to Ghana in March 1966 when Nkrumah’s government was ousted by the Military cum Police coup d’etat to form the National Liberation Council (NLC) government and was appointed the Chairman of the National Advisory Committee of that government.

In 1967/68, he served as the Chairman of the Centre for Civic Education and also a member of the Constitutional Review Committee towards Ghana’s Second Republic.

When the NLC lifted the ban on party politics, Prof. Busia led the Progress Party (PP), which won the 1969 parliamentary elections with 104 out of the 105 seats contested and consequently became the next Prime Minister of Ghana.

But within 27 months while he was in Britain for a medical check-up, the army led by then Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong overthrew his government on 13th January 1972 and therefore returned to pursue his academic career at the Oxford University, where he died from a heart attack in August 1978.

Earlier in his report, Prof. Harrison Kwame Dapaah, the Vice-Chancellor said, the UENR was established by an Act of Parliament, Act 830, 2011 with the core mandate to provide higher education, disseminate knowledge and undertake research related to energy and natural resources.

With initial enrolment of 154 students in 2012, the University which started with two undergraduate programmes under the School of Engineering and School of Natural Resources now has 6,556 total student population. Prof Dapaah said.

Currently, the University has seven schools and runs 38 undergraduate programmes and nine postgraduate programmes across all the schools, he added.

Source: Ghana News Agency