R. P. Baffour Ph.D was a Ghanaian academic and the first Ghanaian Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
R.P. Baffour (a.k.a. Papa Andoh) was born on 14th May 1912 in Nigeria where his father was in the service of the British Civil Service as a Master of Schools. He was the first-born son of Robert Patrick Baffour Andoh and Maria Frederica Adwoa Kane (Okai).
His paternal grandfather was the illustrious Chief Kweku Andoh of Elmina who served in Sir Garnet Wolseley's military campaign against Prempeh I, Chief of the Ashanti. He was made regent of Edina State upon the expulsion of Chief Kobina Gyan by the British. His paternal grandmother was the eldest daughter of Yaa Na Yakubu I of the Dagomba tribe named Napari. She was rescued from the Ashanti by Chief Andoh during the campaign against Prempeh and was given the name Efua Yendi. She was also known as Nana Awuyea.
His maternal grandfather was Chief Kofi Nii Okai of the Gbese quarter, Accra, who was commonly known as Joseph H. Kane. He had a career as a scholar and a merchant. R.P. Baffour was also a great grandson of George Emil Eminsang, who was the very first Western educated lawyer on the Gold Coast.
Baffour obtained his secondary school certificate from Mfantsipim School. After secondary school he achieved the singular honour of coming first in the Civil Service Examination of his time. Yet, instead of joining the British Civil Service he chose to continue his education at Achimota College to study engineering. He became the first Ghanaian to obtain a University of London degree in Mechanical engineering on Ghanaian soil.
Baffour began his career with the Gold Coast Railways and later became a lecturer of engineering at Achimota School. He also held several administrative posts in the civil service including that of the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Communications. Eventually during the Nkruma regime he was the principal actor in transforming the then Kumasi College into the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in 1960. He became its first Vice Chancellor in 1961.
During his career Baffour held several distinguished posts. Amongst these were Chairman of the Integrated Iron & Steel Commission and Chairman of the Ghana Atomic Energy Board. He was the instigator of the Kwabenya Nuclear Plant project that was halted, 6 months from completion, by the military coup against Nkrumah. In 1962, Baffour was elected President of the 6th regular session of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
He was anointed by Kwame Nkrumah to be his successor. Unfortunately, after disagreement with other party members he was expelled from the party. In 1979 Baffour ran as an independent candidate in the presidential election.
He was awarded the OBE in the Queen's Coronation Honours in 1953.
Baffour served as Vice Chancellor of KNUST from Vice Chancellor, 1961-1967. This was after he had served in the capacity of Principal of the university from 1960 to 1961.