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Akufo-Addo: We will reclaim all state land

President Nana Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that the government will take the necessary steps to reclaim all state lands across Ghana encroached upon by people with no right to use the land.

He said he was saddened by the encroachment happening across the country, including around the University of Cape Coast (UCC).

Speaking at a durbar in Cape Coast on Thursday (20 October 2022) to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of UCC, the president expressed dismay that one-third of the university’s legally acquired lands has been lost to encroachers, mostly developers, saying, “This is most unfortunate and unacceptable.”

Hundreds of people, including government officials, clergy, academics, traditional rulers, faculty members, students and the general public turned out to take part in the anniversary celebration.

Cessation

President Akufo-Addo asked all individuals, including the traditional authorities in Cape Coast, to ensure the complete cessation of encroachment on government lands.

He said UCC must be seen not only as a national asset but also an asset of the Central Region and Cape Coast, in particular.

Be resolute

Touching on the current economic challenges facing the country, President Akufo-Addo urged Ghanaians to be inspired and to derive strength and hope from the work of the forefathers who fought with determination to secure the land from colonial masters and make possible hope for a brighter future.

He encouraged the people to summon the same example of patriotism, fortitude of mind and tenacity to work to navigate the economic challenges to become stronger and empowered towards prosperity.

Free SHS intact

On the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) policy, the president said that the government would not renege on its commitment to the policy, regardless of the economic challenges facing Ghana.

He reiterated that education remains a perfect means to equalise opportunities for all and, as such, the government will not renege on its commitment to provide free quality education to obtain access to education for all, including the vulnerable.

“Regardless of the difficulties confronting our nation, the government will continue to intervene and remain responsible for the provision of free and quality basic and secondary education for all,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo noted that investment in education yielded the greatest dividends, for which reason the government remains committed to providing access to free and quality secondary education of, and equal opportunities for, future generations.

He declared that education is a right for all, adding that it equips all citizens to contribute to national development.

University infrastructure

The president pledged the government’s continued support for the infrastructure development of UCC and other tertiary institutions, so as to provide access to all the many qualified young people graduating through the Free SHS programme.

He paid tribute to the founders, leadership, faculty and students of the university for their determination, hard work and dedication to duty which had brought UCC glory and success.

President Akufo-Addo called on the university to build on the great achievements chalked up, chart a path of producing the manpower needed to support Ghana’s development and make an impact on the country and the continent.

Strategies

The Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Sam Jonah, said UCC would continue to adopt innovative and futuristic strategies to ensure its products remain relevant to the demands of the new world.

He said UCC was gearing itself up to produce students who are adept at critical analysis, with problem-solving and stress management skills, and ready for the workplace in a changed world.

He charged the university to lead efforts to ensure the success of the government’s economic and agricultural policies and stimulate national prosperity.

Strong foundation

The vice-chancellor of UCC, Professor Johnson Nyarko Boampong, thanked all stakeholders and founding fathers for the strong foundation that has brought the institution great achievements and success over the past six decades.

He urged President Akufo-Addo to consider giving clearance for the university to recruit new staff to ease the workload on the current staff.

The president earlier inaugurated projects at the School of Graduate Studies, a six-storey guesthouse for the university and an administration block for the School of Medical Sciences.

History

UCC was established in October 1962 by the government of the Kwame Nkrumah-led Convention People’s Party (CPP) as a university college and placed in a special relationship with the University of Ghana,

On 1 October 1971, the college attained the status of a full and independent university, with the authority to confer its own degrees, diplomas and certificates, through an act of Parliament – the University of Cape Coast Act 1971 (Act 390) and subsequently the University of Cape Coast Law 1992 (PNDC Law 278).

Established to meet a dire need for highly qualified and skilled manpower in education, its original mandate was therefore to train graduate professional teachers for Ghana’s second-cycle institutions and the Ministry of Education in order to meet the manpower needs of the country’s accelerated education programme at that time.

Today, with the expansion of some of its faculties and schools, and the diversification of programmes, the university has the capacity to meet the manpower needs of other ministries and industries, besides those of the Ministry of Education.

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