The IEPA Governing Board was inaugurated on 13th April 2021, in line with Statute 68 of the University of Cape Coast Governing Act of 1992 which establishes IEPA as a UNESCO Category II Centre in Ghana and for the West African sub-region.
The meeting which was organized in a blended format due to COVID-19 protocols, saw members within the UCC community come together physically whilst the other Members join via Zoom.
In his opening remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, who is the Chairman of the IEPA Governing Board, Prof. J. N. Boampong, congratulated the Board Members on their nominations and reminded them that the mandate of the Board extends to the West-African sub-region. He remarked that, “as Board Members, your unique backgrounds, experiences, expertise and competencies in supporting IEPA to promote equitable and quality education in Ghana and the sub-region is very relevant and timely.” He further implored that “It is my prayer and hope that you will bring these experiences to bear in transforming this Institute to become one of the best in Africa and in the world.”
As a UNESCO Category II Institute, IEPA has the mandate to, among other things, undertake collaborative research in educational planning, administration and leadership; lead the training and facilitation of continuous professional development in contemporary educational issues and improve the competencies of educational planners, administrators and leaders in the West African sub-region. The Governing Board is therefore to perform the following functions to ensure that the objectives of IEPA are achieved: decide on the participation of regional inter-governmental organisations and international organisations in the work of the Institute; approve programmes, the annual work plan and corresponding budget including the staffing table of the Institute; examine the annual reports submitted by the Director-General including biennial self-assessment reports of the Institute’s contribution to UNESCO’s programme objectives; examine the periodic independent audit reports of the financial statements and monitor the provision of such accounting records necessary for the preparation of financial statements; recommend academic programmes to the Academic Board of UCC for approval and provide supervisory direction to the Institute in the appointment of its principal officers.
The IEPA Board Members are people with varying backgrounds and expertise in the education sector. They are: Mr. Koffi Segniagbeto - representative of the UNESCO Secretary General; Mrs. Ama Nerquaye-Tetteh – representative of the Ghana Commission for UNESCO ( Ghana NATCOM); Dr. Ahmed Jinapor – representative of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC); Dr. Kwabena B. Tandoh -representative of the Ghana Education Service (GES); Mr. Benjamin K. Gyasi -representative of the Ministry of Education (MoE); Professor Ernest K. Davis (Provost, College of Education) and Prof. (Mrs) Dorcas Obiri-Yeboah (Deputy Director, DRIC) - representatives of the University of Cape Coast; and Dr. Michael Boakye-Yiadom -Director-General of IEPA. The Secretary to the Board is Dr. Paul Kwadwo Addo, the Deputy Director-General of IEPA (Administration and General Services).
Notably, the Board will also include UNESCO Member States in West Africa who will express interest in partnering IEPA as indicated in the UNESCO agreement with the Republic of Ghana.
Aside these members, the Deputy Director-General of IEPA (Academic & Professional Development), Dr. Alfred Ampah-Mensah and the Head of Finance - Mrs. Philomena Sam will be in attendance. Also, in attendance for this maiden meeting were the Pro-Vice Chancellor of UCC - Prof. Dora F. Edu-Buandoh, and the Chairman of the Transitional Committee - Prof. John Mensah.
Mr. Solomon Faakye (Esq), the Legal Counsel for UCC, sworn the Board Members present (physical and online) into office supported by Madam Anastasia Asante (Esq) of the same office. Each Board Member took the Oath of Office and Secrecy, pledging commitment to discharge their Board functions to the best of their abilities.
On progress made so far by IEPA, the Director- General, Dr. Michael Boakye-Yiadom, presented a report on the achievement made since the new administration took office at IEPA. He expressed that, “IEPA have had strategic engagements with over a dozen international key partners in education with whom we shall continue to work assiduously to ensure excellence in educational planning, leadership, administration and research especially for Ghana, Africa and the entire World.”
In a congratulatory message to the Board, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of UCC, Prof. Dora F. Edu-Buandoh, extended appreciation from the management of UCC to the Board Members for accepting to support the IEPA with their rich experiences and provide the necessary policy direction. She expressed the appreciation of the University to all who contributed to make the upgrade of IEPA into a UNESCO Category II Institute possible. She singled out the following personalities for their commitment on the upgrade of IEPA: The former Minister of Education - Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh; the former Vice-Chancellor of UCC - Prof. Ampiah-Ghatey; the former Director of IEPA - Prof. (Bro.) Michael Amakyi and the Chairman of the Transitional Committee - Prof. John Mensah. Prof. Buandoh urged IEPA to continue to exemplify excellence.
Instrumentally, the new IEPA UNESCO Category II Centre of Excellence for West Africa’s operation will result in member states harnessing research and innovation to boost development and build related capacities, preparing policy briefs emanating from research on topical issues of educational equity and efficiency, and networking for collaborative work on the priority areas of UNESCO.
Ghana, through IEPA, is committed to implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 which seeks to to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”