African Engineers: Dr E Bamfo Kwakye

Many folks ended up astonished when in 1975 Bamfo Kwakye was appointed Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah College of Science and Know-how (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana. Prior to his advertising to the university’s prime occupation, Bamfo Kwakye experienced been Head of the Division of Electrical Engineering and Dean of the College of Engineering but his tutorial standing was even now that of Affiliate Professor. Overtaking whole professors in other colleges, Bamfo Kwakye’s appointment appeared destined to promote jealousy and discord, but in retrospect it can be viewed that he was a deserving successor to his distinguished predecessors and presided over a challenging but substantial period of the university’s advancement.

Compact, dim, bespectacled with a compact moustache, Professor E Bamfo Kwakye possessed a sharp brain that was partly hidden by a characteristic pause that typically preceded his reaction to any concern or assertion, just about as nevertheless every new situation took him a little by shock. With substantial eyes guiding effective lenses, Bamfo Kwakye carried a long term startled seem. Though every single inch an intellectual, his retiring way befitted the part of a again-place scientist instead than that of a vice-chancellor. He may possibly have lacked the existence and charisma of Dr Baffour or the urbane sophistication of Dr Evans-Anform, but Dr Bamfo Kwakye often knew the place he was heading and succeeded in attaining most of what he prepared.

Quickly soon after using business office, Bamfo Kwakye was billed with the activity of drawing up a 5-12 months improvement program for the college. This system was anticipated to incorporate the institution of a northern campus for the university at Tamale in the Northern Region. As an integral element of the northern campus the Know-how Consultancy Centre (TCC) proposed placing up an Intermediate Technology Transfer Unit (ITTU), to assistance advertise local modest-scale industries like the ITTU to be established at Suame Magazine in Kumasi. Having said that, in 1975, neither the Suame nor the Tamale ITTU assignments had captivated funding assistance and Bamfo Kwakye utilized all the authority of his office to aid the TCC Director’s appeals to the Federal government of Ghana and intercontinental advancement businesses.

Immediately after lobbying for the aid of the Ashanti Regional Administration, the Ministry of Industries, the Ministry of Finance and Financial Arranging and the Asantehene (King of Ashanti), the college ultimately gained funding support for equally projects in 1979. The Canadian Intercontinental Enhancement Company (CIDA) delivered foreign guidance for the Suame ITTU, and the ITTU in Tamale shaped portion of a larger programme supported by the United States Agency for Intercontinental Growth (USAID).

Bamfo Kwakye presided about the formal opening of the Suame ITTU in February 1981, an celebration attended by four government ministers, the Canadian Significant Commissioner and other dignitaries, as perfectly as hundreds of artisans who gained their living in Ghana’s most important informal industrial estate. The operate in Tamale went in advance more slowly and gradually and by the time the Tamale ITTU was done and formally opened in April 1988, Bamfo kwakye had retired as Vice-Chancellor.

Bamfo Kwakye’s second good mission was to set up a professional medical faculty at KNUST. Once more he crusaded to acquire the guidance of the Govt of Ghana and global growth organizations. The Planet Wellness Organisation (WHO) judged Kumasi’s Komfo Anokye Hospital to be unsuitable as a educating clinic, and quite a few issues had been raised by members of the Tutorial Board and College Council, but the energetic and significantly-observing vice-chancellor was undeterred. Bamfo Kwakye experienced the pleasure of viewing Ghana’s second professional medical school firmly founded in Kumasi right before his tenure of business arrived to an end in 1982.

Bamfo Kwakye’s achievements would have won him lasting distinction in the most effective of occasions but these had been in lots of strategies the worst of periods. Ghana’s financial state was in different levels of distress in the course of his time period in place of work, and the a long time 1978 to 1981 observed four adjustments of government and three navy coups. A defining moment of Bamfo-Kwakye’s vice-chancellorship arrived shortly following Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings’ initially coup in June 1979 when the younger air drive officer addressed a group of numerous thousand KNUST college students and staff members on the university’s sports activities ground.

Standing on the roof of his 4 x 4 car or truck the chief of the revolution asked the vice-chancellor to be a part of him. Hardly ever was Bamfo Kwakye’s startled look so obvious as when he stood superior on that precarious perch. Bravely he bore the torment when his companion denounced the corrupt professionals and specialists who ended up reported to be exploiting their authority in all community institutions, including the college. The sunshine was environment and darkish shadows were sweeping across the sporting activities ground, so the beleaguered vice-chancellor manufactured superior his descent to terra firma by suggesting that the collecting need to reconvene in the Excellent Hall.

Bamfo Kwakye was happier when his feet ended up firmly on the ground and he delivered a firm foundation for the university. He taken care of the id and independence of KNUST by intense political and financial storms that bundled invasions of the campus by the military and by miners from Obuasi gold discipline, as properly as an attempted just take-in excess of of the university by a Workers’ Defence Committee (WDC). By succeeding in growing and diversifying the purpose of KNUST in this sort of turbulent instances Bamfo Kwakye ensured that his vice-chancellorship will be remembered with honour, and be a source of inspiration for the two academics and learners in additional tranquil occasions.

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