Professor Ernest Aryeetey, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, has charged African universities to expand their research work to help develop a vaccine for the Covid-19.
That, he said, would be the greatest achievement for the Continent and enhance her socio-economic development.
Prof Aryeetey made the call when he delivered the 2020 Vikings Celebrity Lecture at the University of Ghana, Legon, on Friday.
The lecture, organised by the John Mensah Sarbah Hall Alumni of the University, was on the topic: “Managing an Africa Economy during a Pandemic.”
Prof Aryeetey said protecting the people from contracting the virus should be the topmost priority of the economic managers.
He said the surge in the infection rate in Africa had crippled the economy, which was having a toll on revenue generated from cocoa and other natural resources.
“The current pandemic is a much bigger shock than any other shock Africa has faced in the last century,” Prof Aryeetey said, adding that even though the pandemic had crippled the economies and killed people around the world, Africa’s case had been quite positive.
Prof Aryeetey, who is also the Board Chairman of Stanbic Bank Ghana, commended African governments for measures taken to contain the pandemic such as the state of emergency, the lockdown directives, social distancing, closure of boarders, ban on large gathering, and closure of schools.
He applauded Ghana’s government for the interventions put in place to support the citizenry including the small and medium term enterprises, tax waiving, free water and electricity, and tax holidays.
Prof Aryeetey appealed to all to observe the safety protocols by the World Health Organisation and the Ghana Health Service, which had helped to contain the spread of the virus.
Dr Kwasi Prempeh, Director of the Ghana School of Law, who chaired the function, said the infection rate was rising and urged Ghanaians to wear their face masks while calling on the security agencies to deal with the recalcitrant ones.
Dr Innocent Y.D. Lawson, the Hall Master, said the Hall, established in 1963, was named after John Mensah Sarbah, and had trained many people, some of them occupying key positions.
He said despite the pandemic, the Alumni would do everything possible to ensure the completion of the Alumni Hostel.
He appealed to the members of the Association to take active interest in its activities for early completion of projects.