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President of Ghana finds a warm welcome on his return to LSE

The President of Ghana returned to the Law Department where he studied more than 40 years ago on a visit to the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

But President John Atta Mills found a very different environment from his student days, with the department now housed in LSE's state of the art New Academic Building.

The President toured the new building on Lincoln's Inn Fields, met students, staff and fellow alumni and was welcomed by Peter Sutherland, the School's Chairman.

Mr Sutherland spoke of LSE's growing links with Africa, in particular the new African Initiative which will develop more joint research and scholarship with African universities and scholars. He said: 'This long-term collaboration will inspire and support generations of students and scholars who will help themselves to effect global change.'

In response, the President said he warmly welcomed the initiative, which includes the foundation of the first Chair in African Development at LSE to be taken up in September by Professor Thandika Mkandawire.

During his visit President Mills also watched the Law Department's moot court in action before chatting to LSE students from Ghana and others whose courses have a particular focus on Africa.

President Mills began a distinguished law career at LSE, completing an LLM in 1968. He subsequently studied at Stanford Law School in the USA before becoming a lecturer and then associate professor at the University of Ghana. He was elected President of Ghana in 2008, taking office in January this year.

The visit ended with him accepting a gift of an LSE baseball cap (a traditional gift from the School to visiting world leaders) and t-shirt.

The President also had gifts for his former university - presenting LSE with a chair for the moot court, a painting and a traditional Ghanaian leadership stool for Mr Sutherland.

Ends

8 May 2009

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