Tuesday, 23 July

Institute a Nat'l Students’ Day to build volunteerism - 13-year-old JHS student to Akufo-Addo

Master Papa Appeakorang Duodu-Kumi III meets and greets Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Monday 27th May 2024, met and had an exciting interaction with budding teenager and Head Boy of Franphil International School, Master Papa Appeakorang Duodu-Kumi III, at the Jubilee House in Accra.

The rare, yet fascinating visit comes after the thirteen-year-old teenager had written a fine-looking yet insightful letter to the President, chronicling his early steps towards his ultimate ambition of becoming President of the country someday, as well as his fondness for President Akufo-Addo’s inspiring “Fellow Ghanaians” speeches at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The young JHS Two student has advocated a National Students’ Day dedicated to students to do voluntary work in their schools and endeavour to instill same in them, as well as the establishment of more Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) schools across the country.

Taking lessons from the EU’s recent enactment of the Artificial Intelligence Act that applies a risk-based approach to ensure that different applications of the technology are treated differently depending on the perceived threats they pose to society so that based on their risk levels, not all applications are acceptable, he asked for the promulgation of an Artificial Intelligence policy to regulate that burgeoning, yet unfettered space in Ghana.

He also called on the Minister for Education to embark on working visits to rural communities, saying these visits will motivate the teachers and students alike and for the President to visit the needy and deprived families, interact with them and learn firsthand their needs and aspirations.   

The very interactive visit also saw young Master Duodu-Kumi III seeking autographs on two photographs; one bearing the six leaders of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) popularly known as the Big Six, and referencing the familial relations of three of them to the President, and another one of a young six-year old Akufo-Addo at the wedding of Dr JB Danquah, he sought to know which one of the three inspired the President on his decision to push to be President

He also wanted to know what the President’s most challenging and most difficult decision has been since his election and sought the President’s perspective on the leadership capabilities of Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

President Akufo-Addo, in his responses, pledged to continue touching base with people of rural communities as he done on his regional tours since 2017, when he became President, and directed the Ghana Education Service to engage relevant stakeholders on the National Students’ Day proposition.

The President also mentioned the introduction of the Free Senior High School Policy as the most challenging and most difficult decision due primarily to the period of implementation when Ghana was going through an IMF austerity procedure that triggered concerns by several members of his cabinet against the costly implementation of the policy.

He said, in the face of all these, he had to go ahead to implement FreeSHS because he believed, then and now, that human resource remains the most important natural resource for Africa and that Ghanaians were looking forward to the fulfilment of the key campaign promise.

On his views on Nkrumah, he lauded the first President’s efforts in the independence struggle and the attainment of it, which positively sparked a wave of self-determination movements across Africa. He however, disliked Nkrumah’s autocratic disposition and intolerance for dissenting voices, that led to the introduction of the Preventive Detention Act, based on which a lot of people were jailed because they didn’t agree with some of his decisions.

He continued that Dr J B Danquah, who was indeed one of the three members of his family in the Big Six, has always been his unbridled inspiration in his long walk to the Jubilee House and disclosed that, the other two, his father, Edward Akufo-Addo and his uncle, William Ofori-Atta, were themselves also similarly inspired by Dr JB Danquah’s political trajectory and impressive depths of knowledge.

Master Papa Appeakorang Duodu-Kumi III, was accompanied by the principal of the school, Phil Opoku Boateng, Francis Boateng, William Addo Brown, an uncle and Kwaku Duodu-Kumi, his father.