Named after James Kwegyir Aggrey, a Ghanaian educationist, Alexander
Garden Fraser-a Scottish missionary and educationist and Gordon
Guggisberg-a British Colonial Governor, for major contributions made
to the development of education, the Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial
Lecture series is a high point on the University's academic calendar
and are intended to highlight the role of the academy in the
generation of ideas for development.
“Each year, our university seeks to attract world-class intellectuals
to share with faculty and students their ideas from the different
disciplines they represent on how development may be conceived and
pursued, said Professor E. O. Owusu, Vice Chancellor of the University
of Ghana. Dr. Yumkella’s invitation as the 2017 Distinguished
Lecturer follows his “excellent international career and enviable
The former UN Under-Secretary-General and UNIDO Director-General is
known around the world for his breath of experience in international
sustainable development. “I am indeed convinced that your area of
work and your reputation will be an invaluable addition to the lecture
series and a treasure to our faculty and students,” said VC Owusu.
Previous speakers include Lady Robert Jackson (1957), Sir
Jajachamaraja Wadiyar Bahadur (1960), Sir Julian Huxley (1961),
Davidson Nicol (1963), Prof. Dorothy Hodgkin (1966), Prof. Sir Arthur
Lewis (1968), Prof. Sir Mark Oliphant (1969), Lord John Todd (1971),
Lord John Todd (1971), Robert Gardiner (1972), Prof. Raymond Aaron
(1973), Saburo Okita (1974), Prof. T.O. Elias (1975), Dr. Claude T.
Bissell (1976), Prof. Ralph Dahrendorf (1977), Prof. K. Onwuka Dike
(1979), Sir Leuan Maddock (1980), Dr. M.S. Swaminathan (1981), Prof.
Edem Kodjo (1985), K.K. Dadzie (1990), L.K.H. Goma (1991), Prof.
F.T.Sai (1994), Prof. Ivor Wilks (1995), Prof. Michael Gibbons (1999),
Prof. Ali A. Mazrui (2002), Dr. Kwame Anyane-Yeboah (2004), Prof. Hans
Van Ginkel (2005), H.E. Mary Robinson (2006), Rt. Hon. Paul Boateng
(2007), James D. Wolfensohn (2008), Sir John Edward Sulston (2011),
Dr. Ernest Zedillo (2012), Prof. Thandika Mkandawire (2013), Prof.
Rose Gana Fomban Leke (2014), Prof. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (2015)
and Prof. Ian Shapiro (2016).
Yumkella, who was recently featured as a member of the 2017 African
Power Elite class, said he hopes to follow in the footsteps of many
notable men and women before him to share his thoughts and ideas with
the university community and the people of Ghana. Said he, “I am
particularly delighted to note that, 54 years after Professor Davidson
Nicol delivered the 1963 Distinguished-Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg
Lecture – on the topic Africa: A Subjective View, another Sierra
Leonean, has been afforded such a unique opportunity.”
As part of the two-day lectures, the University will confer an
honorary degree to Dr. Yumkella for his major contribution to the
development of the academy at a time when Sierra Leone’s oldest
university, Fourah Bay College (FBC), is celebrating 190 years since
Some of its notable alumni of the UG include current president of
Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, former President John Mahama Dramani, former
UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan, the late former President – John Atta
Mills, the late famed broadcast journalist, Komla Dumor. Both Yumkella
and former President Mahama were the recipients of honoris Causa
degrees from the Ekiti State University in Nigeria during the
university’s 17th Convocation ceremony in March 2012. Dr. Yumkella is
flag-bearer aspirant for the opposition, Sierra Leone People Party