The Grand Final of the 2017 United Bank for Africa Foundation National Essay Competition was held at the Bank’s Corporate Headquarters in Accra, last Tuesday.
The event saw 16-year-old Jason Emmanuel K. Asante Ghansah, from the Presbyterian Boys Senior High School, emerge as winner.
The 4th edition of the contest brought together 12 finalists from seven different schools across Ghana, and was met with intense competition and bragging rights among the 12 finalists who fiercely vied for the ultimate prize.
Students from Ola Senior High School, Wesley Girls’ High School, Keta Senior High Technical School, WBM Zion Senior High School, KNUST Senior High School, Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, Legon, and Aburi Girls’ Senior High Schools were in the finals.
The winner, Jason Emmanuel K. Asante Ghansah, received an amount of US$5,000 and a trophy while Wesley Girls’ Senior High School’s Appiah Maame Anokyewah Antwi Ekua and Yasmeen Quartey emerged first and second runners-up receiving US$3,500 and US$2,000 respectively.
The cash prize serves as an educational grant for the winners to study in any African university of their choice.
Speaking at the event, Mrs. Abiola Bawuah, the bank’s Managing Director and CEO, congratulated all 12 finalists – praising them for taking part in the competition.
She challenged all senior high students out there to look out for, and participate in, the next edition.
She said: “Today, we have identified the 12th winner since inception of the competition four years ago. Already, the UBA Foundation was taking care of nine students at the tertiary level; and we are happy to announce that from now on they will be 12.
“We are fully committed to this, and it remains our priority to continue with this part of our contribution to society,” Mrs. Bawuah added.
She further expressed gratitude to stakeholders – the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service – saying: “Your support to this cognitive competition has been enormous, and we hope that the relationship will continue”.
The Director for Secondary Education, Dr. Mrs. Angela Tena Mensah, highlighted strongpoints of the UBA Foundation National Essay Competition – such as allowing every student to exhibit their cognitive skills and potential while developing a positive work ethic with problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
She expressed that: “The idea of using the essay to elicit information from the young ones is indirectly asking these students to contribute to the national fight against galamsey. Our hope is that the fantastic ideas from the essays will be gathered and presented to those who matter in the fight against galamsey”.
She commended UBA Ghana for taking up such a laudable initiative that seeks to promote literacy, expression and creativity among young people; and also for offering grants to cater for their tertiary education.
In addition, each of the 12 finalists was given a UBA-branded laptop to encourage them and others to participate whenever there is such an opportunity.
UBA’s National Essay Competition is a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of UBA Ghana Limited, as a way of supporting the educational sector in Ghana.
Launched in 2014, the competition provides a competitive platform to develop the intellectual and writing abilities of Senior High School students across Africa. The exercise is a build-up on UBA’s annual Read Africa Project, which involves the distribution of literature authored by African writers to a number of second cycle institutions across the country.