Speech by Odeefoo Oteng Korankyi II, Chief of Berekuso
Saturday, August 2011
Your Excellency, the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana
The President and Founder of Ashesi University
Honorable Ministers and Members of Parliament
Nananom herein gathered
Distinguished Invited Guests
Members of the Press
Citizens of Berekuso and Akuapemland
All protocols observed.
On behalf of my Sub chiefs, Council of elders, people of Berekuso and indeed on my own behalf, I warmly welcome all of you to this very grand occasion.
Today, August 27th is surely a memorable day in the lives of the Berekuso community and it shall go down in the archives of history. The Berekuso community has contributed in several ways to the development of this country especially in respect of producing some very prominent people who have contributed immensely towards the development of our dear nation.
More importantly, the siting of Ashesi University on Berekuso land marks a very important milestone in the anals of this great community, because together we are helping in the moulding of the new Africa through the provision of first class educational facilities such as Ashesi.
The philosophy of Ashesi University which is to empower young people with the skills and motivation required to create a better Africa is one that needs to be supported, hence this community’s decision to offer their support by welcoming them into our fold.
Distinguished Guests, a profound scientist made a very important statement and I quote “imagination is more important than knowledge”, and following the history of Ashesi, I strongly believe they have and are acting in ways to bring true meaning to that statement.
I believe the founder and the rest of the University community would agree with me that where they are today is a result of the imaginations of yesterday and I dare say that where Ashesi would be tomorrow would largely depend on the imagination of their tomorrow as witnessed today.
The Good Book says “as a man thinketh so he is”. That would be my watchword for the University community as they settle into their new environment.
Mr. & Mrs. Stanford believed that their son who died very young deserved an eternal memory and today stands in his place the well renowned Stanford University.
Dr. & Mrs. Patrick Awuah have a vision to build a new Africa. We believe this will see fruition right here on the hills of Berekuso.
Our community is ready to partner with the university to help develop models of business and social programmes geared towards improving livelihoods of local folks/peasants here and in other parts of Ghana and Africa.
Your Excellency the Vice President, Distinguished Guests, we also believe that as citizens of this land, the university would not only be sited here but that, our children and unborn generations would enjoy the fruits that this university has to offer.
We propose that the university as part of their corporate social responsibility should consider adopting our community school (Pre-school, Primary and Junior High School) and help them develop the skills and expertise to nurture the children so that they can also qualify to attend Ashesi University when they are ready to pursue university education.
We also believe that, the current scholarship being awarded by the institution should also be extended to the children of this land so that children who are brilliant but needy could also be given the opportunity to benefit from university education. We urge the Ministry of Education to support the development of the schools here to this effect.
Your Excellency the Vice President, I want to on behalf of my people and the university make a special appeal to you to ensure that the bad state of the road to and beyond Berekuso is fixed. This will go a long way to open up the Berekuso community, especially now that we have a world class university here.
A few years from now, may we as citizens of Berekuso and Akuapemland be heard heralding that Ashesi’s presence has inspired increase in knowledge and skills and hence in income generating activities for the indigenes through new methods of approaching farming and business in general.
Finally, your Excellency, Distinguished Guests I would refer to the old Chinese wise saying “Ying Yang” which says “There goes my people and I follow”. Leadership is best described by the ability of leaders to offer service, the state of being or status/standing of your people, which determines how well you are leading.
Ashesi University will be judged by how well the relevant concepts and theories they develop helped in moulding the Berekuso community, Akuapeman, Ghana, Africa and the world at large.
To all friends of Ashesi who have come from near and far, I say welcome (Akwaaba) and remember that Berekuso is your home. As a people we are open to all legitimate discussions with individuals, groups and companies that will bring development to our people.
Once again thank you all for gracing this important occasion with your presence.
God Bless us all!