African Engineers: Dr E Bamfo Kwakye

A lot of individuals have been shocked when in 1975 Bamfo Kwakye was appointed Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah College of Science and Technologies (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana. Prior to his marketing to the university’s leading position, Bamfo Kwakye had been Head of the Division of Electrical Engineering and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering but his tutorial standing was continue to that of Affiliate Professor. Overtaking complete professors in other schools, Bamfo Kwakye’s appointment seemed destined to boost jealousy and discord, but in retrospect it can be noticed that he was a deserving successor to his distinguished predecessors and presided over a tough but sizeable phase of the university’s development.

Smaller, dim, bespectacled with a little moustache, Professor E Bamfo Kwakye possessed a sharp mind that was partly hidden by a characteristic pause that normally preceded his reaction to any problem or assertion, just about as though every single new challenge took him a little by shock. With big eyes driving impressive lenses, Bamfo Kwakye carried a permanent startled glimpse. However just about every inch an mental, his retiring method befitted the purpose of a back-home scientist instead than that of a vice-chancellor. He may possibly have lacked the presence and charisma of Dr Baffour or the urbane sophistication of Dr Evans-Anform, but Dr Bamfo Kwakye often understood where by he was heading and succeeded in achieving most of what he planned.

Quickly soon after getting office environment, Bamfo Kwakye was billed with the task of drawing up a five-calendar year progress plan for the college. This prepare was expected to include things like the institution of a northern campus for the college at Tamale in the Northern Region. As an integral component of the northern campus the Technological know-how Consultancy Centre (TCC) proposed placing up an Intermediate Technology Transfer Unit (ITTU), to enable market area tiny-scale industries like the ITTU to be founded at Suame Journal in Kumasi. On the other hand, in 1975, neither the Suame nor the Tamale ITTU jobs experienced captivated funding aid and Bamfo Kwakye utilized all the authority of his office to help the TCC Director’s appeals to the Governing administration of Ghana and international enhancement businesses.

Just after lobbying for the support of the Ashanti Regional Administration, the Ministry of Industries, the Ministry of Finance and Financial Scheduling and the Asantehene (King of Ashanti), the college at some point obtained funding support for the two initiatives in 1979. The Canadian Worldwide Enhancement Agency (CIDA) delivered overseas assistance for the Suame ITTU, and the ITTU in Tamale shaped aspect of a more substantial programme supported by the United States Agency for Intercontinental Development (USAID).

Bamfo Kwakye presided in excess of the official opening of the Suame ITTU in February 1981, an occasion attended by 4 govt ministers, the Canadian Significant Commissioner and other dignitaries, as perfectly as hundreds of artisans who earned their dwelling in Ghana’s most significant casual industrial estate. The function in Tamale went in advance much more slowly and gradually and by the time the Tamale ITTU was completed and formally opened in April 1988, Bamfo kwakye had retired as Vice-Chancellor.

Bamfo Kwakye’s second excellent mission was to establish a health-related school at KNUST. Again he crusaded to win the aid of the Govt of Ghana and global enhancement companies. The Planet Wellbeing Organisation (WHO) judged Kumasi’s Komfo Anokye Clinic to be unsuitable as a educating clinic, and quite a few problems were being lifted by associates of the Academic Board and College Council, but the energetic and significantly-viewing vice-chancellor was undeterred. Bamfo Kwakye experienced the satisfaction of looking at Ghana’s next healthcare faculty firmly established in Kumasi right before his tenure of office environment arrived to an conclusion in 1982.

Bamfo Kwakye’s achievements would have won him lasting difference in the most effective of occasions but these had been in quite a few techniques the worst of situations. Ghana’s financial system was in different degrees of distress in the course of his expression in place of work, and the yrs 1978 to 1981 saw four variations of federal government and three army coups. A defining moment of Bamfo-Kwakye’s vice-chancellorship came soon right after Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings’ initially coup in June 1979 when the younger air pressure officer resolved a group of many thousand KNUST learners and workers on the university’s sports floor.

Standing on the roof of his 4 x 4 car or truck the chief of the revolution requested the vice-chancellor to be part of him. In no way was Bamfo Kwakye’s startled search so clear as when he stood large on that precarious perch. Bravely he bore the torment when his companion denounced the corrupt managers and experts who have been mentioned to be exploiting their authority in all public institutions, which includes the college. The solar was environment and dark shadows ended up sweeping across the sports floor, so the beleaguered vice-chancellor manufactured fantastic his descent to terra firma by suggesting that the collecting should really reconvene in the Great Corridor.

Bamfo Kwakye was happier when his ft have been firmly on the floor and he supplied a firm basis for the college. He preserved the identification and independence of KNUST as a result of critical political and economic storms that integrated invasions of the campus by the military and by miners from Obuasi gold industry, as effectively as an tried get-more than of the college by a Workers’ Defence Committee (WDC). By succeeding in growing and diversifying the function of KNUST in this sort of turbulent moments Bamfo Kwakye ensured that his vice-chancellorship will be remembered with honour, and be a supply of inspiration for both of those teachers and college students in extra peaceful periods.

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