By D.I. Laary, GNA
Wa, Nov 12, GNA - Residents of Upper West Region have welcomed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo’s announcement of elevating the Wa Campus of University for Development Studies (UDS) into an autonomous higher learning academic institution.
The President announced last Saturday at the 19th congregation of UDS in Tamale that Cabinet had given approval to the conversion of the university’s satellite campuses into sovereign institutions of higher education.
In line with the decision, the Wa Campus of UDS would become an independent university to be known as University of Business and Integrated Development Studies whiles the Navrongo Campus would bear anew independent name University of Technology and Applied Sciences.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Wa, inhabitants of the region expressed profound happiness of the latest government’s major policy public statement, describing it as “bold and assertive” that would transform the economy of Upper West.
“I am admiring the President for his assertiveness, it was a bold announcement on the autonomy, and he [President] also pronounced the name as University for Business and Integrated Development Studies, Mr James Kuunsaana Donkor, Communications Officer of Development advocates of Upper West Region said.
A bold policy statement that was, he added, and “it is irreversibly weightier than ever made on this subject by any sitting president”.
“What is new is that the President has asserted his clear positon and conviction by announcing autonomy”.
Mr Donkor was optimistic that since cabinet had endorsed the conversion decision, the country’s parliament would also sanction it after the Attorney General had finalised the legal procedures required.
The Chief of Dajeng, Naa Seidu Bomison, said on Monday: “I think the news is a welcoming news and it is something that I will say it is even long overdue because this is something we as citizens and people from the region have been hoping to hear”.
The conversion holds tremendous economic prospects for the region as it was going to improve living standards of the people with the anticipated massive developmental projects regarding infrastructure expansion and private estate development.
“Let’s take it for example when UDS was in function, you could see a lot of people coming in, our people were benefiting from it and it something that it can continue so for me is good,” Naa Bomison said.
The Chief however called for direct involvement of traditional authorities in the management of the university to ensure it smooth operations and growth.
“We welcome it in the sense that, UDS Wa campus has been the heart of the Region, the traditional authorities should have a say into the development of the institution so that we can also contribute our quota to grow it into success,” he added.
Development Communication Practitioner Mr Seidu Bomanjo said granting an autonomy status to the Wa Campus of UDS was a news received with mixed reaction as a lot more ought to be done to make the university run successfully.
“How prepared are we as people of the Upper West Region to let the faculty fully function as a fully-fledged university for the benefit of the people of Ghana,” he quizzed.
“We must however work very hard in a very united way that would help us realise the dream of a full-fledged university”.
Several youth in the region took to the streets last week cladded in red, protesting against alleged realignment of courses at the Wa Campus of UDS which they feared was set to collapse the campus.
Three top courses were reported to have already been taken away from the Wa Campus whilst 14 proposed departments were alleged to have been marked for relocation to the central campus.
University authorities were tight-lipped on the matter, but GNA inside sources said the central campus of UDS in Tamale were unhappy with the move to make its satellite campuses autonomous.