Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana, returned to Lancing College, his old school, on Sunday 7 October. The President was welcomed by Head Master Dominic Oliver before touring the school and joining over 200 guests for a reception and lunch. Guests included current pupils, parents and former pupils, many of whom were friends of the President during his time at the College in the 1960s.
After lunch the President addressed the audience, talking about his time at Lancing, how it had influenced him, and his determination to pull Ghana out of poverty and into prosperity. He spoke about how the discipline of school and sport had provided a good grounding for him as a young man. Learning how to work alongside people from many different backgrounds and cultures was also significant.
Responding to questions from pupils, the President talked about being inspired in particular by the experiences and leadership of Nelson Mandela. He also discussed what he considered his most important project since being elected in December 2016: to introduce free senior high school education for all young people in Ghana.
Commenting on the visit Dominic Oliver, Head Master said ‘It is an honour and privilege to welcome President Nana Akufo-Addo back to his old school. A leader of his nation and indeed his region, it seems particularly apt that, as he returns to his alma mater, education is high on his agenda. We are very proud that someone whose independence of thought, keenness to challenge convention and deep intellect was encouraged at Lancing has become a constitutional reformer and defender of human rights, not just as a campaigner but as a leading figure on the world stage.’