First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akuffo-Addo, former Speaker of Parliament, Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo, and first female Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Georgina Theodora Wood, on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, received honorary titles from the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) at a colourful ceremony held at the university’s campus at Madina in Accra.

After they had been decorated, the university presented a citation to each of them.

YOUR EXCELLENCY MRS. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO

DOCTOR OF HUMANE LETTERS, HONORIS CAUSA (D.HL)

Your Excellency, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Founder of the Rebecca Foundation, philanthropist, and Women and Children Advocate: The University of Professional Studies, Accra salutes you.

Born on March 12, 1951, in the Greater Accra Region to a Judge who served as Speaker of Parliament of Ghana in the Third Republic, Jacob Hackenburg Griffiths-Randolph and Frances Phillipina Griffiths-Randolph. Your early formal education was at Achimota Primary School and Wesley Grammar School, both in Accra. You continued your education at the Government Secretariat where you qualified as a Secretary and worked at Merchant Bank in Ghana. You later relocated to the United Kingdom, UK, and worked as a Legal Secretary for Clifford Chance, and Ashurst Morris Crisp, multinational law firms in the UK.

You have always had a passion for social causes and have championed initiatives that support the vulnerable in our society.

As a champion of social causes, your contribution to humanity has been very impactful in the country and you have been commended for advocating the fight against malaria in Ghana. You are also a founding member and Chairperson of the Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation, a charity established in 2005, that supports the national effort to reduce malaria infections in infants and young children.

As a member of the National Malaria Control Programme and the Ghana Health Service, you started the “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign on World Malaria Day in 2019, with the goal of fighting the disease in the country. It is also not surprising that you support the Pan-African “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” movement to eliminate malaria across Africa.

Mrs. Akufo-Addo, you have also been recognised as a nutrition champion working towards eradicating malnutrition in children and adolescents, as well as contributing to women’s health and reducing infant mortality in the country and across Africa. You spearheaded the health education agenda in 2017 by establishing The Rebecca Foundation, a non-governmental organisation to enhance government efforts among women and children in Ghana. In the same year, the Foundation signed an exchange programme with a School in China, allowing ten students from both countries to visit each other to develop their academic, sports, and cultural performances.

In 2018, your Foundation rolled out the “Learning to Read, Reading to Learn” initiative to instill a culture of learning in children. Your Foundation also launched the “Because I Want to Be” project, which provides a cushion for underprivileged girls and guarantees continuous education and skills training for female school dropouts.

Your passion for efficient healthcare saw you mobilise corporate Ghana through your Foundation to construct and commission a new Pediatric and Intensive Care Unit at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra in 2019. You also launched the “Free to Shine” campaign, to stop mother-to-child transmission of AIDS, which corresponds with the Organisation of African First Ladies campaign against HIV and AIDS. At the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi the same year, your Foundation established the “Save the Child, Save the Mother” project, which is both a Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) and a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). This project is expected to reduce maternal and infant mortality and was supported by the Multimedia Group, KATH, Manhyia Palace, and the Government of Japan.

Your Foundation is focused on developing and advancing the plight of women and you have engaged in training women in soap-making; donations and financial support to the vulnerable including street children and women; capacity building for women to support their business startups; and the provision of facilities to meet the unique needs of market women by providing them with accommodation for 100 children, washrooms, changing rooms, and sleeping areas. More recently, you donated three thermoregulators to the Ghana Health Service designed for the early detection of cervical cancer.

Your exceptional visionary ideas and lifetime engagements have contributed immensely to the development of the general well-being of women and children’s health and education in society.

Today, in recognition and appreciation of your contribution to society, lives have positively been impacted through The Rebecca Foundation — changing destinies and building lives — the University of Professional Studies, Accra, at its 15th Congregation on December 12, 2023, confers on you the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (HonD.HL).

CONGRATULATIONS December 2023

 

JOYCE ADELINE BAMFORD-ADDO DOCTOR OF LAWS, HONORIS CAUSA

Rt. Hon. Justice Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo, barrister and judge, the first female Director of Public Prosecutions, first female Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, and the first female Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana: University of Professional Studies, Accra, salutes you. 

Born in March 1937, you attended St. Mary’s Boarding School and Our Lady of Apostles (OLA) Boarding School in Cape Coast for your basic education, and subsequently attended Hold Child School for your secondary education. Determined to acquire the requisite knowledge to ensure success, you proceeded to the United Kingdom for legal training, where you joined the prestigious Inner Temple. You were called to the English Bar in 1961 and the Ghana Bar in 1962.

You began your professional career at the Attorney General’s Department in 1963 as an Assistant State Attorney, State Attorney, and later Principal State Attorney, and continued to make giant strides in the judiciary and became Chief State Attorney in 1973, and finally the first female Director of Public Prosecutions in 1976, a position you held for 10 years.

You became the Second Deputy Speaker of the Consultative Assembly that drafted the 1992 Constitution during the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) regime. Drawing from your rich experience and expertise, you contributed greatly to the drafting of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. By dint of hard work and long service on the bench, you were appointed as a Supreme Court Judge in 1991. Your appointment was unprecedented as the first female Justice to the Supreme Court of Ghana.

After retirement, you were unanimously elected as the Speaker of the Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana after the 2008 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in Ghana, making you the first female to be appointed as Speaker of Parliament in Ghana, and in the West African sub-region. You served in that role from 2009 to 2013.

Your remarkable achievements paved the way for a new dawn of women justices in Ghana’s Supreme Court.

During your active years in the profession, you were a member of prestigious professional associations including the Ghana Bar Association, the Catholic Lawyers Guild, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), the Legal Aid Board, and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association. As a Supreme Court Judge, you also served as a member of the Legal Aid Board and the Judicial Council (General Legal Council).

In recognition of your remarkable service to Ghana, in October 2011, you were honoured by President John Evans Atta Mills with the Companion of the Order of the Volta, the highest in the Order of Volta awards.

You were a recipient of many awards. In 2000, you were awarded the best woman of the year by the American Biographical Institute due to your efforts towards women empowerment issues. You were considered a female pacesetter in law and legislation in Ghana and an inspiration and role model to Ghanaian women.

You were honoured by the Ghana Association of Women Entrepreneurs (GAWE) at their 2011 Global Women Entrepreneur Trade Fair and Investment Forum dinner and awards night in Accra.

You retired from public service in October 2004 after 43 years as a practicing Lawyer and 13 years as the first female Judge of the Supreme Court of Ghana.

In recognition of your remarkable service to Ghana as a pacesetter in both the judiciary and legislature, the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) at its 15th Congregation on December 12, 2023, confers on you the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (HonLLD).

CONGRATULATIONS December 2023

YOUR LADYSHIP JUSTICE MRS. GEORGINA THEODORA WOOD DOCTOR OF LAWS, HONORIS CAUSA

Your Ladyship Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, former Chief Justice of the Republic, trailblazer, and advocate of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), the first woman to be appointed Chief Justice: The University of Professional Studies, Accra salutes you.

Born on June 8, 1947, your basic education was at Bishop Girls’ School, Accra, Methodist Primary School, Dodowa, and Mmofraturo Girls’ Boarding School, Kumasi from 1958 to 1960. You attended Wesley Girls’ High School, Cape Coast between 1960 and 1966, and continued to the University of Ghana, Legon, for your Bachelor of Laws degree in 1969. You were called to the Bar in 1970.

As an ardent advocate of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), you have contributed immensely to advancing the cause of ADR both locally and internationally. You have been instrumental in shaping the ADR structure in Ghana.

You also lectured in ADR for over a decade. Your teaching work extended beyond the borders of Ghana, having served as a Judicial educator in ADR for the Bench, the Bar, and court officials in Gambia.

Your commitment to the law is demonstrated in the below achievements:

  1. You introduced the Justice for All Programme (JFAP) in 2007 to promote access to justice and reducing overcrowding in prisons. Your efforts subsequently led to the establishment of the first High Court situated in Nsawam Prisons that promoted prisoners’ rights and their access to justice.
  2. You approved the live broadcast of the Supreme Court hearings concerning the 2012 election petition case, an unprecedented decision that aided in the development of Ghana’s democracy and further enlightened the populace about the electoral process.
  3. You instituted the annual Chief Justice’s Mentoring Programme, exposing students of second-cycle institutions to the functions of the judiciary and the administration of justice in Ghana.

During the span of your career, you occupied many international positions. In 2016, you were admitted as an Honorary Bencher (honoris causa) of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, making you the first female and only Ghanaian on the Historical List of Honorary Benchers since 1883.

As a human rights advocate, you served on several boards of international justice and human rights organisations, including the Global Justice Center, and the International Advisory Committee to guide the development of a handbook on HIV, the Law, and Human Rights in 2011. You were also a member of an International Advisory Group on Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care, and Support.

Your good work was highly recognised in and out of Ghana including the Order of the Star of Ghana, the nation’s highest honour in 2007, and in August 2008, you were awarded a Doctor of Laws degree (LLD – honoris causa) by the University of Ghana. On retirement in 2017, you became the first female and first recipient of the newly instituted Legal Profession Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) for your commitment to the Rule of Law.

Your appointment as the first female Chief Justice of Ghana, and the youngest person to occupy this position in the country, continues to inspire more women in Ghana and the rest of Africa to aspire to higher positions. You have also laid a strong foundation for the Judiciary of Ghana due to your expertise in ADR which has served nations near and far in immeasurable ways. Your visionary leadership, reforms, adoption of cutting-edge strategies to sanitise the judicial system, and commitment to women’s empowerment, demonstrate your relentless commitment to justice.

You became the longest-serving Chief Justice with your tenure spanning a decade: from 2007 to 2017.

In recognition of your distinguished career on the Bench spanning over 35 years, and your outstanding contributions to advancing the course of ADR both locally and internationally, the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), at its 15th Congregation on December 12, 2023, confers on you the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (HonLLD).

CONGRATULATIONS December  2023

UPSA confers honorary doctorate degrees on First Lady, Justices Joyce Bamford…

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