Justice Professor Henrietta Joy Abena Nyarko Mensa-Bonsu, a Supreme Court Judge, has urged the leadership of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science to channel the experiences into shaping future national endeavours.
“The Academy must be counted as a national Think Tank to give hope and direction to the nation. Let us sustain the changes we have made to our mode of doing business so that we would not be considered a mere relic of the past, but as an active partner in national development,” she said.
Justice Mensa-Bonsu made this call as a final address as the President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science (GAAS).
Justice Prof Mensa-Bonsa, who served a two-year term spanning 2019 to 2020, is the third female and first University of Ghana alumna to be elected to the high office of GAAS President.
“Having come to the end of my Presidency, I can only express profuse thanks to all who helped to midwife the changes we have had to make to keep our head above water,” Justice Prof Mensa-Bonsu stated in Accra at the GAAS 2020 Founder’s Week Celebration, on the theme “This COVID-19 Pandemic”.
Justice Mensa-Bonsu, who spoke on the topic; “Turning Our Trials into Triumphs – Unforgettable 2020,” said the trials the Academy went through this year were grave, but they had adapted and been able to surmount the various challenges that threatened to derail the work of GAAS.
“The number of policy makers who ask us questions about the work of GAAS, assures me that if we do not anticipate serious questions of national development to make intellectual input and proffer solutions when the need arises, we shall walk ourselves into irrelevance and oblivion.
Concerning the COVID-19 Pandemic, she said: “It was a time of trials, it was a time of triumphs. Indeed, a time of contrasts”.
“Last year, in November 2019, which almost seems like a lifetime ago, I had this self-same privilege of addressing you during the Anniversary Week.
“As if I were a prophet, I titled my address ‘On Change, Changing and Being Changed’, and focused on the need for change, preparing to operate in changed circumstances, managing change as well as how unanticipated events could compel a change in any institution or society,” Justice Prof Mensa-Bonsu said.
She said the sense of community and belonging which public lectures offered them, came under severe strain.
At the event, Justice Prof Mensa-Bonsu also inducted nine new Fellows of the Ghana Academy (FGA).
The Arts Category of Inductees include Professor Kwaku Appiah-Adu, Professor of Strategy and Senior Advisor to the Vice President; Sir Dennis Dominic Adjei, Justice of the Court of Appeal; and Prof Kofi E. Quashigah, Professor Law, former Dean School of Law, University of Ghana.
The rest are Prof Edmund John Collins, Professor of Ethnomusicology, School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana; and Prof Joshua Yindenaba Abor, Professor of Finance, Dean, University of Ghana Business School.
Those in the science category are Prof Gladys Amponsah, Head, Department of Medical Education, Mountcrest University College; Prof David Kofi Essumang, Vice-Chancellor, Koforidua Technical University; and Prof John Owusu Gyapong, Public Health Physician, Epidemiologist and Vice-Chancellor, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho.
Others are Prof Bartholomew Dicky Akanmori, Regional Advisor, Vaccine Regulation, Communicable and Non-Communicable Disease Cluster, Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Programme, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa.
The Founder’s Week starts with the Presidential Address delivered by the President of the Academy.
The lecture was chaired by Nana Dr SKB Asante, a past President of the Academy.