President Akufo-Addo will open the 72nd Annual New Year School and Conference today, Tuesday, January 19 at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra.

The School is on the theme, “Building Ghana in the Face of Global Health Crises”.

It is being organised by the School of Continuing and Distance Education, College of Education, University of Ghana.

The opening ceremony will be chaired by Mrs Mary Chinery-Hesse, Chancellor, University of Ghana, while Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, will give the welcome remarks.

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, the Presidential Co-ordinator of Government of Ghana’s COVID-19 Response Programme and Former Deputy Director-General, World Health Organization.

Mr Godfried Kudzo Akpanya, the Coordinator/Prefect of the Annual New Year School and Conference, made this known on Monday, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, in Accra.

Mr Akpanya said about 300 participants were expected at the conference and said COVID-19 safety protocols will be strictly adhered to.

He said the Annual New Year School and Conference since its inception in 1948, had been the flagship programme of the University, which always opens at the beginning of the New Year and that it had never been truncated.

Mr Akpanya noted that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which broke out in 2020, the 72nd Annual New Year School and Conference would focus on global health crises.

This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual weeklong programme has been shortened to two days.

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For the first panel discussion, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Minister of Health; Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Presidential Adviser on Health at the Presidency; and Prof Abraham Kwabena Anang, Director, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, will speak on the topic “Public Health Infrastructure for Preventive Health Care Services During Pandemics”.

It will be chaired by Prof. Elsie Effah Kaufmann, Department of Biological Engineering, University of Ghana.

Discussants for the second panel would include; Mr Kofi Bentil, Senior Vice President and Policy Analyst, IMANI Ghana; Prof. Peter Quartey, Director, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana; and Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance.

They will speak on the topic: “Resilient Self-sufficient Economy to Withstand Global Health Crises”.

It will be chaired by Madam Elsie Addo Awadzi, Deputy Governor, Bank of Ghana.

Madam Frema Opare, Chief of Staff at the Presidency, who will be hosted by Mr Albert Kofi Owusu, General Manager, Ghana News Agency, would speak on the topic: “Coordinating the Business of Government during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons for Ghana’s Development.”

On Wednesday, January 20, panel discussion one, will focus on the topic, “ICTs for the Provision of Inclusive Quality Education and Lifelong Learning”.

The discussants will include’ Dr Hilda Ampadu, Executive Director, National Inspectorate Authority; and Mr Patrick Awuah, President, Ashesi University.

The session, which will be moderated by Mr Bernard Koku Avle of Citi TV / FM, would be chaired by Prof. Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi, Founding Dean, School of Continuing and Distance Education, University of Ghana.

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Panellists for the second discussion will speak on the topic: “Sustainable Food Production Systems and Resilient Agricultural Practices”.

The speakers will be; Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture; and Prof Irene Egyir, Department of Agric Extension, University of Ghana.

This session will be chaired by Nana Adjoa Sifa Amponsah Guzakuza.

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