Speakers at 72nd Annual New Year School propose roadmap to deal with COVID-19 impact


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Group picture with dignitaries

President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday January 19, 2021 opened the 72nd edition of the Annual New Year School and Conference, organized by the School of Continuing and Distance Education of the College of Education, University of Ghana.

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Speaking on the theme: “Building Ghana in the Face of Global Health Crises”, the President noted that the selected theme was very appropriate as it reverberates with the current state of the country and the world at large and further commended the organizers for successfully putting the conference together.

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Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of Council escort President Akufo-Addo to the Great Hall 

While recounting the actions government has taken since the first cases of Covid-19 were detected in Ghana in March 2020, President Akufo-Addo revealed that one essential lesson the COVID-19 pandemic has taught the country is the need to be self-reliant and self-sufficient as a nation state. He expressed satisfaction with the local production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which has arisen with the onset of the pandemic.

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Some traditional leaders at the opening ceremony of the 72nd ANYSC

He added that it is imperative that in the face of health crises, crucial sectors of the economy such as agriculture, health, education, trade and industry remain productive and vibrant, even if there have to be modifications to suit the situation on the ground.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, Presidential Coordinator of the Government of Ghana’s Corona Virus Response Programme and Former Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organisation, noted that “we live in an era of global health crises”. 

The keynote speaker Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah

Dr. Asamoa-Baah was of the view that the COVID-19 crises will not be the last global health crisis, and there was therefore the need for Ghana and the world to prepare adequately for similar events in the future. 

He cautioned against undermining the impact of health crises since they have the tendency to affect every aspect of our lives and derail positive gains that have been achieved. 

According to him, every crisis also presents opportunities which must not be wasted. 

Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah used the opportunity to call on leaders to use an all-inclusive society approach to successfully deal with such crises.

The Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Mrs. Mary Chinery Hesse, in her remarks, was optimistic that the school and conference would provide the roadmap to enable African states undo the adverse impact the Coronavirus  

The Chancellor, Mrs. Chinery Hesse

pandemic has brought on their economies and the livelihoods of citizens. Mrs. Chinery Hesse called for the concerns of women to be highlighted and addressed during the School and Conference.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, noted that the Annual New Year School and Conference has served as a barometer for guiding public opinion for the promotion of good governance and socio-economic development in the country, and that the conference provides the platform for the University to shed its Ivory-tower image and actively engage with the general public.

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The Registrar, Mrs. Mercy Haizel-Ashia

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Some members of the general public at the conference

Prof. Olivia Kwapong, Dean, SCDE (middle) and some members of the Planning Committee of the 72nd ANYSC

Topics that were discussed under this year’s theme covered; Public health infrastructure for preventive healthcare service during pandemics; resilient self-sufficient economy to withstand global health crises; ICT for the provision of inclusive quality education and life-long learning; and sustainable food production systems and resilient agricultural practices.

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Musical performances by the University of Ghana Dance Ensemble

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