General News of Monday, 19 February 2018
The Central Regional Minister, Mr Kwamena Duncan, accompanied by Nana Kwesi Brebo III, the acting president of the Nkusukum Traditional Council, led a delegation of family members of the late Prof. F. K. Allotey, the renowned Mathematician and Scientist, to the Flag Staff House to officially update the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on preparations towards his final burial and funeral rites. State burial
According to Mr Duncan, the President has announced a full state burial for Professor Allotey who died after a short illness on November 2, 2017, for his dedicated and selfless service to Ghana and the world at large, on February 23, 2018, at the forecourt of the State House. The final funeral rites will follow on February 24 and 25, 2018 at his home town, Saltpond, in the Central Region.
President Akufo-Addo reiterated that “the good professor is a state asset who gained an international reputation that will impact on generations yet unborn, hence my decision to offer him a full state burial for the whole nation and the world to know the value of what we have lost.
Even though I am supposed to travel out of the country on February 22, I will personally mourn with the nation during Prof. Allotey’s funeral on the February 23 at the State House.”
The President expressed gratitude to the members of the planning committee for their efforts at ensuring a befitting burial for the late Professor.
Members of the planning committee who joined the delegation included Dr Kwaku Aning, chairman of the board of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission and Mr Samuel Boakye, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, two institutions Prof. Allotey ensured were duly established.
The late Prof. Allotey was a pioneer of the 1952 group of the Ghana National College where he received his secondary education. He subsequently pursued further studies at the University Tutorial College, London Borough Polytechnic and the London Imperial College of Science and Technology where he obtained the coveted Diploma of Imperial College (London) in 1960. It was here that he met his future mentor, Professor Abdus Salam, founder of ICTP, who taught him more salient aspects of mathematics and science.
He returned to Ghana to teach at the Department of Mathematics at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). In 1962, he began his PhD studies in mathematical physics at Princeton University, during which time he met and worked with many eminent scientists of the time – Robert Dicke, Val Fitch, Robert Oppenheimer, Paul A.M. Dirac and C.N. Yang. He obtained his masters’ and PhD from Princeton in 1966 and returned in the same year to take up a position as a lecturer at the Department of Mathematics at KNUST. In 1974, he became the first full professor of Mathematics at KNUST and he soon rose to be the head of the department and later the Dean of the Faculty of Science.
He was also the founding director of the KNUST Computer Centre before he assumed his position as the pro-vice-chancellor of the university.
He held many other prestigious positions, including being the President of the Ghana Institute of Physics and the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was the founding president of the African Physical Society.
Ghana awarded him the Millennium Excellence Award in 2005, and dedicated a postage stamp to him. In 2009 he was awarded the Order of the Volta and post-humously awarded the Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah African Genius Award in 2017.
His dream project of establishing a Mathematical Institute to train young Africans at the highest level in mathematics and its application in fields of endeavour materialised with the establishment of the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Ghana in 2012.
Besides being a member of, and honorary fellow in many international scientific organisations such as the African Academy of Sciences, International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Institute of Physics and Nigerian Mathematical Society among others, he also held numerous leadership positions at national and international levels. He was a consultant for many international institutions such as the UN, UNESCO, IAEA, IBI and UNIDO. In 2004, he became the only African among the 100 most eminent physicists and mathematicians in the world to be cited in a book titled, One hundred reasons to be a scientist.
In 2009, the Professor Francis Allotey Graduate School (AGS) was established at the Accra Institute of Technology. The institute provides tertiary degrees, ranging from Master’s in Business Administration and Software Engineering to PhD programnes in Information Technology and Philosophy. He was instrumental in getting Ghana to join the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP), making it one of the first few African countries to join the Union. He worked closely with IUPAP and ICTP in encouraging physics education in developing countries and organising workshops and conferences in creating awareness in the region.