Some Members of Parliament have proposed to the government to name the Kumasi Campus of the University of Education, Winneba, after industrialist Akenten Appiah-Menka.
The University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development Bill is currently before Parliament, with the hope of converting the UEW’s Kumasi Campus into a fully-fledged university dedicated to the training of teachers and equipping them with the relevant competencies for teaching in technical and vocational education and training institutions.
The Second Deputy Majority Chief Whip of Parliament, Moses Anim, said, “The name of the university has to be named after Appiah-Menka.”
“Mr Speaker, when we do that, I don’t think we’ve done anything wrong. Appiah-Menka was an all-rounded person. He was a trained lawyer. At the age of 32, he was the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry under Prof. Busia’s government, and astute politician at that level,” he said.
Giving his support to the initiative, the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, also asserted: “This is a very laudable initiative. A former MP, and a former industrialist – though he’s past and gone, my uncle, Appiah-Menka, has been one of the early industrialists in our country. I remember the Apino soap very well. It was a common name. Unfortunately, today many of the industrialists are struggling and import most of their raw materials.”
The late Appiah-Menka was one of the founders of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia tradition, from which the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was born.
He was an astute entrepreneur and businessman, who founded the Apino Complex, manufacturers of the popular “Apino soap”. He died Tuesday, 13 February 2018, aged 84.
Mr Appiah-Menka served as a Minister of State in the Second Republic.
In December 2019, President Nana Akufo-Addo announced that the Kumasi campus of the University of Education would become an autonomous institution under the name University of Skills and Entrepreneurial Development.
During a sod-cutting ceremony at the school for the construction of a Technical Examination Unit at the College of Technology Education, the President noted that plans were far advanced in making the school an autonomous institution.
He added that the school would have other satellite campuses at various colleges of education to equip students in skills training.