Ghana Armed Forces Staff College, Ahwerase

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In 1974 when I was a young boy in class four, my father, then a major in the Ghana Army went on course to Pakistan, Quetta to be precise. He was away for approximately a year, on what I later found out to be the Senior Division Course or Senior Staff Course at the command and Staff College, Quetta, Pakistan. It must have been a great course because he has since spoken of the great time and fun as well as academic instruction he received there. He talked incessantly about the quality of the environment, the architecture the social and recreational facilities and one could easily see that he had been to institution to which he would readily love to return to another time. In 1982 when I was in form five, he, was again sent on course, for another year, this time to the United States Army War College, Carlisle, in Pennsylvania. This time my mother and sister, who were about 12 years old, then, went with him. So on their return, it was 3 months and not one that gave us, back in Ghana, the “.,.oh I wish I could go back ...“ lines. In 1984 when I finished my A-levels, I went on to do my National Service at the Ghana Armed Forces Staff College, Teshie where my father was Commandant at the time, and it was here, I actually began to see what the Staff College was like, and what went on there, and with these came the realization that our Staff College was in no way comparable to what I had heard of the Staff College in Quetta or the War College in Carlisle. Though the college admits students from other countries, I did not see much or in fact anything that would make them, on return to their countries, sing the praises of Ghana, that my dad sang, so many years ago of Quetta and Carlisle. I did not see the pools, the golf courses the stables, the architecture, indeed I did not see many of the facilities a Staff College was supposed to have from the little I had learnt. In fact I did not even see a college. What I saw was a mass of buildings with different functions attached to them to serve the various purposes to which they were being put, and that was it. During my service there I discovered the bottlenecks that were generated in this environment either due to the poor inter—relationships that stemmed from poor architectural arrangement or planning, or from bureaucracy, or even from common stress that the micro—climate generated. The college is meant to train and to develop the professional knowledge of senior officers in preparation for the assumption of increased responsibility as senior staff officers or commanders. In as much as their academic excellence is required, their physical fitness as well as their social and moral confidence is also important. Personal experience of the atmosphere and facilities of the college at Teshie, led me to judge the place inadequate for these purposes. This design thesis is therefore a personal reaction to this experience. This reaction comes across in this form: (i) To closely examine the facility as it stands at the moment and identify the exact elements that make it inadequate for its stated purposes. (ii) To investigate that which constitutes an adequate and effective facility, and then based on these; (iii) Evolve a fresh master plan design for the facility all together.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture, 1991