The 45-year-old, who has become the third President of the Institution, is also the youngest and was sworn into office by Right Reverend Dr Colonel (Rtd) Bliss Agbeko, Moderator of the E. P. Church at a well-attended ceremony in Ho.
Rev. Dr. Setri Nyomi, Chairman of University’s Council, said the President’s appointment entwined the University’s quest to become a fully chartered institution even as the world navigated an unfavorable epoch.
The new leadership was therefore asked to endeavor to defy all odds, and was assured of the unwavering support of the Council.
“You are taking the mantle of leadership at a crucial time of resource scarcity and a global pandemic. We do not have any doubt in your capability to steer the affairs of the Evangelical Presbyterian University College.
“In appointing you, the Council was clear on what the next direction of the institution should be. Among others, we expect that you and your team will strive hard to ensure that EPUC becomes a full chattered University,” the Council Chairman said.
Prof. Bakah is a product of the University of Cape Coast, and also holds a Masters and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Strasbourg, France.
The President, in an address after his investiture, announced “a new era in the life of the EPUC,” and outlined bold efforts towards addressing the dwindling student enrolment especially during the pandemic.
He said the University’s “serious infrastructural deficit,” financial challenges and its general outlook “left much to be desired,” while the institution’s lack of strategic partnership was also a bearing concern.
“The University College is faced with challenges that need immediate redress in order to guarantee its survival,” Prof. Bakah stated, noting however that the Institution was “strategically positioned” to become a centre of excellence in advanced education.
The President said the University would reconsider its role as the premier institution in the Volta and Oti Regions, and should be strategised to lead the promotion of both local and foreign languages and cultures.
He said the governance, academic programmes, student enrolment, and also staff recruitment and development areas of the University College would be the focus of his administration for the next four years.
Prof. Bakah added that its income generation, infrastructure development, ICT as well as research and innovation aspects would also become priorities, while the University’s international visibility was to be enhanced.
The President therefore called on all stakeholders to avail expertise for the development of the University.
“EPUC has been on the decline and we must arrest that trend. This is not the time to give up; this is not the time to stand on the fence; and this is not the time to say, “I can’t support anymore” or “I have done more than enough,” Prof Bakah stated.
He appealed to the E.P. Church, Ghana, to sustain its resolve to support the University financially, and to guarantee “an annual regular student base for the University College to mitigate the sharp decline in student numbers.”
Prof. Bakah is a native of Anlo-Afiadenyigba in the Keta Municipality of the Volta Region, and the son of a Catechist of the E.P Church.
He is married to Dr. Mrs. Marie Afua Baah Bakah and blessed with five children.
Present at the investiture was Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, as well as a host of heads of tertiary institutions from across the Country.
Also present were some Members of Parliament, and political party Executives.