Nana Chairman, Nana Kobena Nketsia V, Paramount Chief of the Essikado Traditional Area,
His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, former President of the Republic of Ghana,
His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, former President of the Republic of Ghana,
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Legon, our hosts,
Current and past Ministers of State here present,
Current and past Members of Parliament here present,
Esteemed representatives of our Religious Bodies,
Nananom, Nii mei, Naa mei, Togbi o, Mama o,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
His Excellency John Evans Atta Mills, late President of the Republic of Ghana and the only President of Ghana to have died in office, was a unique individual who touched the lives of many people in a positive manner. The essence of leadership is to give hope, and President Mills gave so much hope for “A Better Ghana for all”.
Forthright, calm, God-fearing and God-loving, a man of peace and a “father for all”, controversial as that may sound given the circumstances of today’s Ghana, President Mills ensured that he left an endearing mark, a legacy, a heritage, in a country which continues to miss him ten years after his death.
He was incorruptible and a man of integrity, a rare combination in an African politician. He was also an intellectual of no mean repute and a sportsman par excellence, with a particular passion for Hockey. He brought to bear on the Ghanaian Presidency all these unique attributes of his personality.
It should therefore come as no surprise that another organisation has emerged to continue to advance the principles, values and ideals this great son of our land stood for.
On the 9th anniversary of his passing last year, a group of academics, professional colleagues, former appointees, students and family decided that an organisation be created to preserve his heritage and his legacy. The group began to explore and expand on the concept of Professor Mills’ Heritage. From this group, a Planning Committee was established to actualise the concept.
As a result, the John Evans Atta-Mills Memorial Heritage was incorporated on the 14th of October 2021 at the Register-Generals Department as a not-for-profit, non-partisan, independent, charitable company limited by guarantee.
It currently has a Board of 4 Directors namely, Dr. Sherry Ayittey, Honourable Samuel Atta- Mills, Mr. Siisi Quainoo and I, Alex Segbefia, as Chairman of the Board. Nana Oye Bampoe-Addo is Secretary to the Board.
An Advisory Council to the Heritage has also been established. It comprises Mr. Kwame Pianim, Mr. James Bebaako-Mensah, Mr. John Henry Martey Newman, Professor Agnes Attia Apusigah, Dr. Esther Ofei-Aboagye, Togbe Afede XIV, Agbogbomefia of Asogli State, Mrs Yvonne Boateng, Alhaji Dr. Ahmed Vanderpuye, Dr. Cadman Atta-Mills and Naa Alhassan Andani.
The John Evans Atta Mills Memorial Heritage is nevertheless a voluntary organisation whose programmes and activities are carried out entirely by volunteers. It is also funded entirely by volunteers. Indeed this Launch programme has been funded by individual and group volunteers. All who believe in the Heritage of John Evans Atta Mills are therefore welcome to join the John Evans Atta Mills Memorial Heritage. Our contact details are contained in the Programme Brochure which hopefully all of you have got.
The logo of the John Evans Atta Mills Memorial Heritage Heritage, which will be unveiled today, is made up of 3 symbols and 3 colours.
There is the symbol to the left of an open book which signifies President Mills’ deep involvement in academia, specifically in the areas of law and taxation.
There is the symbol to the rights of 2 hockey sticks and a hockey ball which signifies his involvement in and contribution to sports.
In the centre of the logo is a Presidential Stool which signifies his role in governance in which area he rose to become the Number One Gentleman of the land.
In terms of the colours, there is green, which signifies the fruitful farms of the land of his birth and its potential for the development of the economy.
Then there is gold or yellow which signifies the richness of the land of Ghana in minerals and resources which yearns to be exploited for development.
Finally there is white which reflects the purity and integrity of President Mills.
The vision of the Heritage is: “Inspiring humanity for a better society”. The mission of the Heritage is: “To promote John Evans Atta Mills’ unique view of society to cause positive actions in strengthening democratic values and human advancement.”
Our strategic objectives are: “To continue to deepen the legacy of President John Evans Atta Mills’ excellence in academia, sports and governance; to build and project the President Mills brand as a model servant leader who invested in his people; and to engage in charitable work.”
The values and principles of the late Professor we wish to project and inculcate within our people are passion, excellence and integrity, effort and inclusiveness, accountability, commitment and humility.
In pursuance of this, we have developed a programme of activities for the Heritage to cover a year-long celebration of the 10th anniversary of his death. There will be a series of John Evans Atta Mills Memorial Lectures which will cover all the regions, possibly clustered into zones. The highlight of the Lectures will be a major Lecture to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his death in July, the month in which he died.
The activities will also include infrastructure projects and sporting activities. Academic scholarships, especially in the areas of Law and Taxation, will also be arranged.
Nana Chairman, I would like at this stage to pay glowing tribute to all those who have contributed to bring the Heritage into existence and to make this Launch a reality. In particular, I would like to mention the Heritage concept group that met on 24th July 2021 to give birth to the organisation; the members of the Heritage Planning Committee; and the individuals and groups who contributed so generously to make this Launch such a remarkable success.
Nana Chairman, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, a man who knew President Mills very well will be delivering the Keynote Address at this Launch during which I am sure we will be served with further and better particulars of the lives and times of President John Evans Atta Mills. I will therefore at this juncture conclude by saying that it is my singular honour and pleasure to invite the former President, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, who was also Vice President to President John Evans Atta Mills, to make a few remarks and to unveil the logo of the John Evans Atta Mills Memorial Heritage.
I thank you very much for your attention.