Rt. Hon. Prof. Mike Oquaye Delivers 2018 Alumni Lecture

                                         Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye

Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, the Speaker of Parliament, has proposed the creation of West African Electoral Commission to oversee the organization of elections within the Sub-region under the auspices of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).

The proposed Commission according to him would help in the registration and compilation of a common voters register throughout the Sub-region, with names of voters appearing only once in the register in order to curb electoral disputes and political upheavals that emerged out of elections.

Prof. Oquaye, who made these recommendations at the 2018 University of Ghana Alumni Lecture, said the move would help the Commission to assist in creating rules and regulations for elections in the Sub-region in compliance with global best practices. He noted that the Commission would assist in providing training for well-qualified electoral personnel and ensure adequate distribution of ballot boxes for all elections within the Sub-region. This he said, would deepen democracy and the rule of law. “If we have been able to create the West African Examinations Council, how come we can’t create West Africa Electoral Commission,” he queried.

The lecture which was held on the theme: “Strengthening Democracy and Good Governance in Contemporary Ghana: Some Challenges”, forms part of activities marking the University’s 70th anniversary celebrations.

The West African Sub-region over the years has witnessed political conflicts resulting from disputed electoral processes. In 2011, the disputed elections in La Cote d’Ivoire led to conflict, with many people killed while thousands were displaced and sought political asylum in Ghana and other countries.

The Chairman for the occasion, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, the Vice Chancellor used the occasion to appeal to the leadership of Parliament to fast track the approval of new fees for tertiary educational institutions in order to mobilize financial resources for their administrative operations.

Currently, he said, the University of Ghana was burdened with over GH¢30 million budget deficit, and believed the approval of the fees would greatly improve its revenue generation and help address some administrative and governance challenges.

The Fees and Charges Act 2009 (Act 793), which was amended in 2016 seeks to safeguard the public against arbitrary charges and levying of students by universities. The Act requires all Vice Chancellors to seek parliamentary approval for fees and levies they intend to charge before sending them out to students.

                                                 Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu

Mr. Richard Obeng Okrah, Chairman of the University of Ghana Alumni Association (UGAA), said the annual lectures, which started in 1974, highlighted various challenges facing the society and proffered pragmatic solutions to issues on governance, democratic, education and the Sciences.

He noted that the University’s alumni would continue to work closely with the Management towards achieving its strategic plan of making it a world class research intensive university. He disclosed that the Alumni Council had developed its own strategic plan towards complementing that of the University to achieve its mission and vision.

He mentioned that, members of the University’s alumni contributed one per cent of their salaries over a period of three years towards the refurbishment of the Halls of residence to resolve the perennial student accommodation challenge. Other projects the Alumni had supported, included the beautification of the campus, refurbishment of the Eye Centre of the University Hospital and establishment of an endowment fund to raise $100,000 to support infrastructural needs of the University.

                                               Mr. Richard Obeng Okrah


The lecture which provided a platform to discuss pertinent governance and democratic issues affecting the country’s politics, attracted the University’s Faculty and senior members, Council, Executives and members of the Alumni Association, former Vice Chancellors, Pro-Vice Chancellors and Registrars, as well as Members of Parliament, Traditional rulers and students.

                                 Prof. Oquaye receiving a gift from the Alumni Association

                                   A section of the audience at the lecture