Dr Paul Kofi Fynn, Chancellor, Wisconsin International University College, Ghana, has admonished African governments to tackle issues of corruption and mismanagement of resources with all seriousness.
According to him, this would ensure that the continent’s abundant resources were effectively and efficiently used to achieve growth.
He made the assertion at the 15th Graduation Ceremony of the university, over the weekend, where 1,159 students from three programmes graduated.
Out of the total number of graduated students, 21 were Diploma students, 1,061 undergraduates and 64 postgraduates.
Of the 1,061 Undergraduate students, there were 85 First Class honours, 447 Second Class Upper, 308 Second Class Lower, 170 Third Class and 62 graduated with Pass.
Dr Fynn noted that the abundance of natural resources such as gold, diamond and timber were a testament to the fact that Africa was a wealthy continent.
However, he noted that the unending corruption and continuous mismanagement of these resources over the years, had rendered the continent poor and inferior.
“You know, many people always talk negatively about Africa, and it continues with the press, everybody. Everybody talks negative about Africa, especially foreigners, but Africa is not bad. Africa is unique, Africa has everything.
“We have gold, we have diamond, we have timber, we have everything, and I want you to know that Africa can manage the whole world, with the things that we have,” he noted.
Dr Fynn added that: “The problem that many people think that Africa is so bad, and so negative, we have different kinds of names given to Africa, that continent, crying continent, you know. It should not be so. The reason why they may say so is because, number one, corruption. And therefore, many people think that Africa is bad.
“Number two, because of mismanagement. Governments mismanage affairs of the nations in Africa.”
Dr Fynn also bemoaned the overdependence on governments which he said was preventing them from realising the abundance of opportunities available.
While urging the graduates not to depend on government, he also encouraged them to make good use of their acquired skills to improve society and the nation.
“If you sit down and you wait for the government to come and do something for you, it will never happen,” he said.
Professor Obeng Mireku, President, Wisconsin International University College, noted that, like many educational institutions and the world at large, the last three years had been one of the most challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, he explained that, the pandemic offered a unique opportunity to test the country’s tenacity and ability to deal with unforeseen circumstances.
He explained that, as a university, it was not surprising how well it managed the pandemic, turning the misfortune into opportunities, which had improved teaching and learning and built resilience of students.
“This is what we believe a university education is all about; the totality of general and specialised knowledge and skills that enable a university to solve problems they encounter,” he stressed.
Prof Obeng emphasized the need for private universities in Africa to recognise their role in developing today’s workforce as an opportunity to tackle tomorrow’s challenges.
He said: “How we prepare and nurture our students today will determine our fate as a continent in the event of another pandemic in the future.”
Mister John Kwabena Debrah, Best Graduating Student for the Undergraduate, expressed their readiness to face the world’s challenges and tackle them head-on.
He urged his colleagues to celebrate what they had accomplished but look forward to what they could do to help their societies’ development.
The theme for this year’s graduation ceremony was; “Role and Opportunities for Private Universities in Developing Africa’s Future Workforce.”