UN University Mourns Prof. Alexander A. Kwapong, Former Vice Rector

Accra – August 19,  2014 – The United Nations University –Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) received with deep sorrow, the sudden passing away of the Former Vice Rector of the United Nations University (UNU), Prof. Alexander Adum Kwapong who was very instrumental in the establishment of UNU-INRA as the first UNU Institute in Africa.

Prof Alexander A. Kwapong

Prof Alexander A. Kwapong

As the Vice-Rector for Institutional Planning and Resource Development for UNU from 1976 to 1988, Prof. Kwapong worked closely with the first Rector, James H. Hester, to lay the foundations necessary for UNU as both a university and a part of the United Nations system, and to attract funding for the University.

Prof. Kwapong played an active role in the founding of the first UNU institute — the UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER).

Speaking on his achievements, the Director of UNU-INRA, Dr. Elias. T. Ayuk described Prof. Kwapong as an African legend, who contributed immensely to the development of Africa by championing the establishment of UNU-INRA as a UN policy think tank to promote the sustainable use of natural resources in Africa.

“The death of Prof. Kwapong is shocking news to us. Africa has lost a great son and his contributions to the Institute will forever live with us”, Dr. Ayuk stated.

Throughout his career, Prof. Kwapong served on numerous Boards and Councils, and upon retirement he was appointed Chair of the Council of State of Ghana, an advisory body for the President and Government of Ghana.

He died on August 9, 2014, in Accra, Ghana.


UNU-INRA’s work centres on Africa’s two most important endowments — its human and natural resources. It aims at strengthening capacities at universities and other national institutions to conduct research and produce well-trained individuals with the ability to develop, adapt and disseminate technologies that promote the sustainable use of the continent’s natural resources. UNU-INRA operates out of its main office at the University of Ghana. It has also established operating units (OUs) at the University of Cocody, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia, and Institute for Food Technology (ITA) of the Ministry of Mines and Industry in Dakar, Senegal, through which some of its major activities are carried.

Media Contact: Praise Nutakor, Communications and PR Associate, UNU-INRA; Tel: +233-244093010; Email: nutakor@inra.unu.edu