Members of the Concerned Youth of Krobo land, together with the Klo Intellectuals Association in the Yilo Krobo traditional area, have called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to give priority to qualified and competent indigenes from the Dangme area, when appointing people to key management positions at the University of Environment and Sustainable Development at Somanya in the Eastern Region.
The groups, in a joint statement, noted that their request stems from the following:
1. Our minds are boggled with recent interim appointments to some key management positions of the University.
This raises some overarching questions such as;
(i) What is the stake of the qualified local people in the university?
(ii) How would the new university inure to the benefit of the ordinary Krobo boys and girls in the university’s catchment area?
(iii) What does it mean to have a university sited in our community? It is our long-held expectation that the new university would have a cumulative positive impact on our society.
2. Reasonable representation of indigenes across all levels of the university structure.
It will be recalled that the chiefs and people in the Dangme area have sacrificed a lot of resources in terms of land, labour and other commitments to help facilitate the establishment of the Somanya University. It will only be Godly that they benefit from the fruits of their labour. In line with this, we seek for special arrangements that will give priority in terms of admissions and employments to indigenes in the catchment areas of the university.
This is to avoid a situation where the indigenes due to their disadvantaged backgrounds cannot benefit from the university in terms of admissions and employment opportunities.
3. The appointment of indigenes to key management and academic positions of the university will promote education, increase the social and cultural identity of the people and improve the livelihood of the poor in the area.
The people of the Dangme land are predominately farmers. The level of education and the literacy rate in the area is unsatisfactory. Hence giving the opportunity to the few in the area who were able to climb high the academic ladder, would serve as role models for the young generation. It will also repose confidence and inspire the “Can Do Spirit” among the younger generation and will largely raise the social and cultural identity of the Dangme people.
4. There should be priority for local content in all the selection and appointment process in the new University.
We are aware of a number of internationally recognised Professors, Senior Lecturers and Professionals of Dangme origin, who have the needed background especially, in Science, Environmental Science and Agriculture, which are very key and relevant areas to the University of Environment and Sustainable Development. We humbly request that priority be given to people with such background to contribute in steering the affairs of the new university.
The groups noted that their aim is not to ignite any ethnic or tribal sentiments but to cry out for help for their indigenous people in the area, bearing in mind both the intended and unintended consequences of siting a university in a community.
We believe this move will greatly lead to livelihood empowerment of the people in the area. Our eyes are keenly fixed on ensuing developments in the new university, the statement added.