Chinery-Hesse elected first female Chancellor of UG,Legon

By Hagar Ofosua

President Akufo-Addo has sworn into office a new Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Mrs. Mary Chinery-Hesse.

Mrs. Chinery-Hesse takes over from the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan as the first female Chancellor of the institution.

Mrs. Chinery-Hesse said her appointment into office as the first female Chancellor of the institution was dedicated to Ghanaian women adding that, “we have together a responsibility to ensure that women’s voices no longer remain muted.”

She paid tribute to her predecessors, including Kofi Annan and Nana Wereko Ampem, the first Chancellor of the University.

 President Akufo-Addo pointed out that most universities across the country will be faced with the challenge of admitting a high number of students in the next two years due to the free Senior High School Policy. He, therefore, urged the new Chancellor and all heads of tertiary institutions to begin making adequate preparations towards the increased population.

“The Free Senior High School policy will be a permanent feature of our educational architecture. We cannot be caught off guard, and, as the saying goes, ‘the best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today”, the President cautioned.

 President Akufo-Addo said Mrs. Chinery-Hesse said has taking over as Chancellor from one of Ghana’s most illustrious sons, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan.

“I thank Mr. Kofi Annan, who served the two terms of his mandate, for his invaluable service to the nation. It is not every day that one picks up the mantle of leadership from such as Mr. Kofi Annan So, Madam Chancellor, I am sure that you know that you have your work cut out for you”, he said.

Nonetheless, the President was unequivocal that the University could not have picked a worthier successor to Mr. Kofi Annan than Mrs. Chinery-Hesse.

Meet the first female Chancellor of Legon, Ms. Mary Chinery-Hesse

Ms. Mary Chinery-Hesse of Ghana is Vice-Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission. She is also a member of the country’s Board of the Centre for Policy Analysis, a Commissioner of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission, a Commissioner of the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation-UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. 

Ms. Chinery-Hesse previously was Deputy Director General of the International Labour Organization between 1989 and 1999. Before that, she was Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Seychelles, and Uganda. Before joining the United Nations she was Principal Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, and Secretary of the National Economic Planning Council. 

She also served as Chairperson of the Consultative Committee on Programme and Operational Questions (CCPOQ) of the United Nations from 1993-1998, Chairperson of the Commonwealth Expert Group of Eminent Persons on Structural Adjustment and Women, which prepared the book Engendering Adjustment; a member of the Council of African Advisers of the World Bank from 1992-1998; a member of the Eminent Persons’ Advisory Panel of the African Union; Chairperson of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on Review of Progress in the Implementation of the Programme for the Least Developed Countries in the 1990s; and a Member of the Distinguished High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on Financing for Development (Zedillo Commission).

 Ms. Chinery-Hesse received a BA (Hons) in Sociology and Economics, and Doctor of Laws (Honoris causa) from the University of Ghana; and postgraduate training in Development Economics at the University of Dublin.

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