The University of Sierra Leone will tomorrow confer an honorary Doctoral Degrees to the former Ghanaian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone Kabral Blay Amihere and the Serbia and Montenegro Consul Adonis A. Aboud.
The conferment of such degrees is awarded to individuals who did not only distinguish themselves in the country but have contributed to the socio- economic development. It is done by nominations and extensive scrutiny of nominated individuals.
The family of Adonis A. Aboud came to Africa in 1926 settling in Ghana and he came to live in Sierra Leone in 1975, since then he been involved in the telecom business. He has remained close to the daily problems of Sierra Leoneans especially the youths, children and students.
Mr Aboud has also contributed immensely to the health sector which he once described as deplorable dating back to the 80s.His business felt it necessary to associate itself to fill the existing gap between the people by providing professional equipment.
Mr Aboud became popular when he introduced the DSTV Satellite, marketing not only in Sierra Leone but in West Africa and his name became a house hold name when he started catering for kids in the street and those also sick.
He established a non profitable charitable organization named Pikin Bizness.
Pikin Bizness has grown to be an efficient charitable organization that has helped children living with a hole in the heart to hydrocephalous. Over 140 are awaiting treatment abroad.
Mr Adonis Aboud was nominated by Head of Chemistry Department, Fourah Bay College, Professor Nyormah.
He told Awoko that he received the honour as something very special. “I was very excited, the first thing that came to my mind is gratitude. It is a big thank you, not only to the University but to the people and it really made me feel good knowing that I am going to receive that honour”
About what he thought being philanthropic he said “I believe philanthropy is synonymous with generosity. Philanthropy is not something you learn at school it is in you or not and you do not need to be wealthy. As a matter of fact those who have too much money are worried about losing it but those with less money are much generous because they do not have much to lose and they know what it means to give. I enjoy making some one else happy with a very little something”
Mr Aboud said the honour will enable him work harder and to make him aware of his position in society in keeping the merit and to uphold oneself to the best standards.
The next awardee is former Ghanaian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone Kabral Blay Amihere.
A journalist by profession Kabral was the current President of the West African Journalist Association (WAJA) when he was appointed by then newly elected President John Kuffour to be the High Commissioner to Sierra Leone.
As High Commissioner, Kabral was instrumental in fostering new relations with Ghana both in terms of social ties and economic.
He and the outgoing Sierra Leone High Commissioner to Ghana H.E. Allie Bangura started the Sierra Leone – Ghana Trade Fair which has become an annual event with goods made in Ghana being displayed and sold at the national stadium.
Under his stewardship the Ashanti King whose ancestors had stayed in Sierra Leone during the days of the British empire visited the country.
The journalist cum diplomat was also instrumental in developing a dollar scheme in which Ghanaian soldiers serving in the UN peacekeeping mission contributed a single dollar from their salaries every month. This fund grew to unprecedented proportions and was well received for the philanthropic overtures it was used for in Ghana.
Perhaps what has convinced the University to award him the honorary doctorate degree was the fact that during his tour of duty here, Kabral concerned about the level of journalism in the country and being made aware of the lack of professional journalism lecturers volunteered to lecture at the school of journalism at Fourah Bay College free of charge for over a year. Kabral lectured journalism for several years in the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
He was also an active supporter of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) financially sponsoring some of its programs.
H.E. Kabral Blay-Amihere is the author of several books and has been President of the Ghana Journalists Association.
Whose wife also has links to Sierra Leone has two children and he is presently the Ghanaian Ambassador to the Ivory Coast.