Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Jospong Group of Companies, spent two days visiting UHAS, where he electrified the atmosphere with a powerful delivery on April 8 as Guest Speaker at the John Evans Atta Mills Leadership Lecture.
This was the 6th in the series of lectures instituted in memory of the late President of the Republic of Ghana, Professor John Evans Atta Mills. Each year, the Vice Chancellor identifies and the UHAS Council approves the invitation of an appropriate individual, whose character and achievements inspire leadership qualities worth emulating and honouring with an honorary doctorate degree.
This year, the searchlight fell on Dr. Agyepong; and he did not disappoint. His lecture, entitled “Sustaining environmental sanitation gains through specialized education”, fed into the main theme of the UHAS 10 Anniversary, which is, “the Role of Specialized Universities in National Development”.
Dr. Agyepong described the establishment of UHAS as “timely and critical in improving healthcare delivery in Ghana.”
The Zoomlion Founder said, historically, the establishment of universities was so germane to the fight for independence that every African nation set up at least one university as soon as it gained independence; therefore, universities ought to “play a pioneering role in addressing the myriad of problems, including illiteracy, poverty, social disorganization, unemployment, low productivity, hunger and disease” confronting the Continent. He noted that the unfortunate trend of chronic unemployment among university graduates in Ghana, raises the question of “whether the graduates being churned out by our universities every year are job-ready?” He said, investing in specialized universities with enhanced academic and research expertise, which focus on practical and applied areas such as science and technology, health, environment, and natural resource exploration, is “the new way to making universities more responsive to development challenges.”
Dr. Agyepong held the audience captive with a Snapshot of his life, tracing his rags-to-riches progression in a matter-of-fact style that elicited many audible reactions from the audience throughout the course of his presentation. He also shared the Jospong Group’s response to several national and continental sanitation crises in highlighting the Group’s contributions to National Development.
Dr. Agyepong was accompanied by his family and a delegation of staff from the Jospong Group. The UHAS guest list included students from Mawuko Girls High School and UHAS Basic School, politicians, founders and benefactors of the University, representatives from organizations that are carrying on Professor Atta Mills’ legacy, and members of the internal UHAS community.
Vice Chancellor John Gyapong chaired the occasion. Previous Guest Speakers of the JEAM Leadership Lecture Series include: Professor Samuel Kofi Sefa-Dedeh (2016); Dr. Delanyo Dovlo (2017); Dr. Matshidiso Moeti (2018); Professor David Molyneux (2019); and Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah (2021).