The Registrar of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Dr. A. B. T Zakariah has been enskinned as the Chief of Yapei Traditional Area in the Savannah Region. The coronation ceremony of the esteemed academic and longest serving Registrar of UDS was held on April 8, 2021.
In his acceptance speech, the newly enskinned Yapeiwura thanked the Gonjaland Traditional Council for his elevation and promised to serve the people’s interest. “During my reign as Yapeiwura, I will work with the chiefs and elders, religious leaders, women groups and youth groups to ensure peace, harmony, tranquility and development.
I wish to call on everybody within the Yapei Traditional Area to endeavor to contribute in their own small way to ensure that the Yapei Traditional Area remains attractive for investors and development. My doors shall be open to all in the discharge of my traditional duties, and I shall lead without discrimination,” he said.
Outlining his priorities, he stated that his attention will be focused on education, health and agriculture. He underscored the need for collaboration between government and the traditional authorities to bring about development in the area in a bid to curb the poverty and unemployment rates.
“I humbly appeal to the Government and the international community to consider the role of traditional leaders in all developmental plans. This way, the menace of uncompleted projects could be curtailed,” he added.
Paying respect to the work done by his predecessor, he said, “It is worth mentioning that my predecessor, Yapeiwura Alhassan Soale III, who is now the Kusawguwura, facilitated some major developmental projects in Yapei such as the Yapei Water Supply Project.
This project, achieved through his effort has addressed the quality of drinking water in Yapei and its environs. Also, he facilitated the resumption of lake transport from Akosombo to Yapei through the use of a ferry by a private company. This has offered some jobs to the youth of the area. I will endeavour to emulate my predecessor to ensure that I facilitate developmental interventions that will address the needs of the people.”
Yapeiwura Dr. Zakariah insisted that education will serve as a catalyst for development in the area, saying, “I have a strong conviction that development is driven by education. Quality human resource is what can help in bringing about development and progress in our lives. In this vein, I entreat all parents to pay particular attention to the educational needs of their children, and provide adequate support to them.
About six years ago, I facilitated the donation of books to some primary and junior high schools in Yapei and Kusawgu. This was meant to augment the reading materials that existed in those schools at that time.
I intend to call on relevant agencies to support education in the Yapei area. Fortunately, the Kusawguwura has identified education as one of his priority areas for the Kusawgu Traditional Area. I will lend my full support to him to achieve this vision,” he said.
He entreated all residents of to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 safety protocols and take the vaccines when they are available, as the global pandemic rages on.
“The global pandemic, COVID-19, to which many lives have been lost, is still with us. I urge everybody to observe the COVID-19 safety protocols. The Government of Ghana has initiated the process of getting all citizens vaccinated against the Corona Virus disease. I humbly appeal to you all to avail yourselves to be vaccinated when it is due.” He also commended the Yagbon Traditional Council for their impartiality in resolving chieftaincy disputes in the area.
Yapeiwura Dr. A.B.T. Zakariah started his tertiary academic career at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree and a Diploma in Education.
Soon after his undergraduate studies, he undertook a two-year mandatory National Service duty. It was during this period that his penchant for communication was discovered, subsequently, he enrolled in a postgraduate programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon.
Upon completion of the postgraduate qualification in Communication Studies, Chief Zakariah never further obtained an MSc in Development Communication from the University Putra, Malaysia, before enrolling in a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester, UK.
Upon his return to Ghana, he joined the University for Development Studies as an Assistant Registrar in 1993. He rose through the ranks to aDeputy Registrar, and was appointed a substantive Registrar of the University in 2011. Currently, he has served the university for over 27 years, and remains the only pioneer staff of the university still in active service.
His love for sports has been demonstrated by his push for reforms which have resulted in enhanced performance of the university in sporting activities. Chief Dr. A.B.T. Zakariah is a Development Communication Consultant, whose services have been engaged by governments and multinational firms. He is also a commercial farmer.