President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday promised the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) the necessary financial clearance to fully pursue its mandate.
He said the University had exhibited excellence in standards and would continue to receive the needed support from the Government to carry out its activities.
President Akufo-Addo said this at the UHAS in Ho during the investiture of Professor Lydia Aziato as Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University, who had become the first nurse to head a university in West Africa.
The VC, in an address following her investiture, had listed financial clearance for staff among the needs of the University and appealed for funding for the completion of ongoing projects, including the laboratory complex.
The President said: “As the Vice Chancellor, indeed, I want you to know that I will be your advocate with the Minister of Finance to get you your financial clearance to strengthen your capacity to deliver.”
He professed his personal commitment to the University and celebrated the VC’s place in the world of academia.
“It appears the female leadership of our premier tertiary education institutions, which has been long overdue, is now very much the flavour of the moment,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo congratulated the outgoing Vice Chancellor, Prof John Owusu Gyapong, and Registrar, Dr Cynthia Kpeglo, for their outstanding leadership and encouraged the new leadership to carry the University higher.
“The UHAS continues to set high standards of behaviour and promotes traditional values, which underpin lifelong learning. Long may they continue,” he said.
“I believe that the new Vice-Chancellor is a person capable of not only steering the affairs of the University for the next four years but also sending the Institution to greater heights.”
“Her induction into the office today is a mark of the trust the Governing Council of the University had reposed in her and I’m confident that this trust will not be broken.”
He said Prof. Aziato’s wealth of experience and dedication to service made her the appropriate person for “this all-important assignment” and congratulated the Council for the appointment.
“You have my support and the support of government to pursue this aggressive transformative agenda you outlined in your speech,” President Akufo Addo added.
Prof Aziato had outlined eight thematic areas she would strategise for the further elevation of the University, which included improved financial management and enhancement, a digitisation drive, motivation for staff, and collaboration, both nationally and internationally.
She took office on August 01, 2022, and replaces Prof. John Owusu Gyapong, who had headed the University since 2016.
The investiture was witnessed by hundreds of dignitaries, who filled the Cedi Auditorium of the University to capacity, including individuals from academia, students, traditional leaders, heads of assemblies, and Members of Parliament from the region.
A new Registrar, Ms Yaa Amankwaa Opuni, was appointed with the VC and replaced by Dr Cynthia Kpeglo.
Justice Jones Dotse, the Chairman of the University Council, said the VC and Registrar were approved following a search committee’s recommendation and their appointments had been “without controversies”.
He robbed and swore them into the office and conferred on the VC the position of ‘Chief Operation Officer” of the University, saying she would be responsible for developing its overall strategy.
Nicknamed ‘Professor One,’ the new VC is hailed as the first nurse to become a professor in Ghana, and the second nurse to head a University in Africa.
Prof. Aziato has over 70 publications to her credit with more than 1000 citations in renowned academic and research works.
She has a large portfolio of several awards and fellowships accrued over years for dedicated service in her academic and professional career.
There were loud cheers as she took her seat beside the President of the Republic after her swearing-in, with fraternity messages from the Education Ministry, and Vice Chancellors of Ghana.
Mama Attrator II, Queen-mother of Ho Dome, said they came to celebrate the “breaking news of a female being appointed to head the institution,” and presented beads of bravery as symbols of achievement.