African Engineers: Dr E Bamfo Kwakye

Many individuals had been stunned when in 1975 Bamfo Kwakye was appointed Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah College of Science and Expertise (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana. Previous to his promotion to the college’s high job, Bamfo Kwakye had been Head of the Division of Electrical Engineering and Dean of the School of Engineering however his educational standing was nonetheless that of Affiliate Professor. Overtaking full professors in different schools, Bamfo Kwakye’s appointment appeared destined to advertise jealousy and discord, however looking back it may be seen that he was a worthy successor to his distinguished predecessors and presided over a tough however vital section of the college’s growth.

Small, darkish, bespectacled with a small moustache, Professor E Bamfo Kwakye possessed a pointy thoughts that was partly hidden by a attribute pause that always preceded his response to any query or assertion, nearly as if each new difficulty took him a bit without warning. With massive eyes behind highly effective lenses, Bamfo Kwakye carried a everlasting startled look. Although each inch an mental, his retiring method befitted the position of a back-room scientist moderately than that of a vice-chancellor. He might have lacked the presence and charisma of Dr Baffour or the urbane sophistication of Dr Evans-Anform, however Dr Bamfo Kwakye all the time knew the place he was heading and succeeded in reaching most of what he deliberate.

Quickly after taking workplace, Bamfo Kwakye was charged with the duty of drawing up a five-year growth plan for the college. This plan was anticipated to incorporate the institution of a northern campus for the college at Tamale within the Northern Area. As an integral a part of the northern campus the Expertise Consultancy Centre (TCC) proposed organising an Intermediate Expertise Switch Unit (ITTU), to assist promote native small-scale industries just like the ITTU to be established at Suame Journal in Kumasi. Nonetheless, in 1975, neither the Suame nor the Tamale ITTU initiatives had attracted funding assist and Bamfo Kwakye used all of the authority of his workplace to assist the TCC Director’s appeals to the Authorities of Ghana and worldwide growth companies.

After lobbying for the assist of the Ashanti Regional Administration, the Ministry of Industries, the Ministry of Finance and Financial Planning and the Asantehene (King of Ashanti), the college finally gained funding assist for each initiatives in 1979. The Canadian Worldwide Improvement Company (CIDA) supplied overseas assist for the Suame ITTU, and the ITTU in Tamale fashioned half of a bigger programme supported by america Company for Worldwide Improvement (USAID).

Bamfo Kwakye presided over the formal opening of the Suame ITTU in February 1981, an occasion attended by 4 authorities ministers, the Canadian Excessive Commissioner and different dignitaries, in addition to a whole bunch of artisans who earned their dwelling in Ghana’s greatest casual industrial property. The work in Tamale went forward extra slowly and by the point the Tamale ITTU was accomplished and formally opened in April 1988, Bamfo kwakye had retired as Vice-Chancellor.

Bamfo Kwakye’s second nice mission was to determine a medical faculty at KNUST. Once more he crusaded to win the assist of the Authorities of Ghana and worldwide growth companies. The World Well being Organisation (WHO) judged Kumasi’s Komfo Anokye Hospital to be unsuitable as a educating hospital, and quite a few issues had been raised by members of the Tutorial Board and College Council, however the energetic and far-seeing vice-chancellor was undeterred. Bamfo Kwakye had the satisfaction of seeing Ghana’s second medical faculty firmly established in Kumasi earlier than his tenure of workplace got here to an finish in 1982.

Bamfo Kwakye’s achievements would have gained him lasting distinction in the perfect of instances however these had been in some ways the worst of instances. Ghana’s financial system was in various levels of misery all through his time period in workplace, and the years 1978 to 1981 noticed 4 modifications of presidency and three navy coups. A defining second of Bamfo-Kwakye’s vice-chancellorship got here shortly after Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings’ first coup in June 1979 when the younger air pressure officer addressed a crowd of a number of thousand KNUST college students and employees on the college’s sports activities floor.

Standing on the roof of his four x four car the chief of the revolution requested the vice-chancellor to hitch him. By no means was Bamfo Kwakye’s startled look so obvious as when he stood excessive on that precarious perch. Bravely he bore the torment whereas his companion denounced the corrupt managers and professionals who had been stated to be exploiting their authority in all public establishments, together with the college. The solar was setting and darkish shadows had been sweeping throughout the sports activities floor, so the beleaguered vice-chancellor made good his descent to terra firma by suggesting that the gathering ought to reconvene within the Nice Corridor.

Bamfo Kwakye was happier when his toes had been firmly on the bottom and he supplied a agency basis for the college. He maintained the identification and independence of KNUST by means of extreme political and financial storms that included invasions of the campus by the military and by miners from Obuasi gold discipline, in addition to an tried take-over of the college by a Employees’ Defence Committee (WDC). By succeeding in increasing and diversifying the position of KNUST in such turbulent instances Bamfo Kwakye ensured that his vice-chancellorship might be remembered with honour, and be a supply of inspiration for each teachers and college students in additional peaceable instances.

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