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Young researchers urged to focus on specific areas

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Prof. Ernest Aryeetey

Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, on Thursday called on young researchers to stay focused on specific areas as they grow.

He said as they grew older and demand for their works grew, they should ensure they stayed focused so that they would be known for.

Professor Aryeetey was speaking at the opening ceremony of an exhibition on his literary works organised by the Balme Library of the University of Ghana.

He commended the Balme Library for organising the exhibition as a means of showcasing his academic pursuits and urged them to continue by organizing similar events for professors who gave their inaugural lectures.

Professor Aryeetey stated that his works were in “different categories” and reflected different stages of his academic life. He explained that his early works were a reflection of his youthful academic years and showed his interest in spatial development which included rural development and development planning.

After that, when he was between 30-40 years old, he became interested in finance and wrote on informal and micro-finance. These works, he said, helped to make micro-finance common today since most economists did not work on this at the time.

He explained that as he grew older, he became less focused due to the increased demand for his works and wrote on many different subjects including Aid.

Professor Aryeetey promised to support the Library to move from using card catalogues to using digital technology adding, “the university cannot become a world-class university without a world-class library”.

Professor Samuel Adjei Mensah, Head of the Geography Department, and Chairman for the occasion, also said the exhibition, which runs for a week, was a welcome gesture to the vice chancellor and would also serve to strengthen the relationship between him and the library and expressed the hope that it would give a greater insight into his life and works.

Ms Gifty Boakye, Acting University Librarian, said the traditional roles of academic libraries included supporting the teaching, acquiring and disseminating information to users of the library “it is therefore said to be the heart of the institution.”

However, technological advancement had made the work of the library difficult as printed materials are in less demand.

“User preferences have changed and the library needs to respond to this change”, she said.

She said the library, in order to meet these needs, was organizing face-to-face counselling for students, packaging technological information, collaborating with other stakeholders to manage intellectual works and also working to provide information in all available formats to its users.

Ms Boakye also said the library was in the process of establishing a research commons in order to satisfy the needs of graduates and researchers.

It would be a place where researchers and graduates can access the necessary materials and information for their research. The facility would be the second one in Africa, after South Africa.

Some of Professor Aryeetey’s works on display include edited works, authored works, chapters in books and papers.

Some of these are the “Economy of Ghana”, edited by Ravi Kanur; “Globalisation, Employment and Poverty Reduction”; “Filling the Niche: Informal Finance in Ghana”; “Essential Financial Reforms in Africa” written with Lemma W. Senbet and a chapter in “Regulating Development: Latin America” edited by Edmund Amann.

Source: GNA

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