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Historian tells who founded University of Ghana with ‘proof’

A historian, and researcher at the University of Ghana, Kweku Darko Ankrah said there were other people who also pushed the colonial government to establish a university in the then Gold Coast.

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It has emerged that it took a village to set up the University of Ghana as against President Akufo-Addo’s assertion that his uncle J.B Danquah is the founder of the country’s premier university.

In an interview with Accra-based Citi FM, a historian, and researcher at the University of Ghana, Kweku Darko Ankrah said there were other people who also pushed the colonial government to establish a university in the then Gold Coast.

Some of these people were chiefs, other Gold Coast intellectuals, and cocoa farmers.

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These people included including Sir Arku Korsah, Nene Azu Mate–Kole, and Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh. He admitted that J.B Danquah was part of those who made a case for the university to be established but he was not alone.

President Akufo-Addo said that his grand-uncle, Dr. J.B Danquah founded the premier University.

This comment has caused some controversy, particularly on social media. Many Ghanaians have challenged this version of history.

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However, Mr. Ankrah said even though J.B Danquah played a role in the establishment of the university, Ghana’s premier university is the product of a collective effort of several other people.

Mr Ankrah said that the university was built with a “collective effort of the Gold Coasters” and monies generated from cocoa farmers.

“The Gold Coast intelligentsia, the Gold Coast elites as well as the farmers, the ordinary people, it is their money that established the University of Ghana especially the cocoa farmers. And they need to be congratulated. But when we talk about individual efforts, first and foremost we need to put historical chronology and see who the primus inter pares in all this debate is.”

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