Faculty of Social Sciences of University of Ghana organises sixth annual colloquium
The University of Ghana’s Faculty of Social Sciences is organising a two-day colloquium on the theme; “The Social Sciences and the Development Discourse” which forms part of the 65th Anniversary celebrations of the university.
The colloquium aims at providing fresh perspectives on the linkages between social sciences and development.
It would create an opportunity for both faculty members and postgraduate students to showcase their research findings and subject them to rigorous peer review. Papers would be presented by 66 faculty members and 37 students.
Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), speaking on the topic: “Higher Education and Graduate Youth Employability in Ghana and Africa,” blamed the stagnant development of Ghana’s socio-economic arena partially on the current inaction of scientists in developing solutions through research to combat the predicament.
He said the long silence and inaction of Ghana’s social scientists had not helped in addressing some of the challenges facing the country in areas such as graduate unemployment, the emerging trends of diseases, bad leadership, policies and quality human resource development.
Dr Akwetey, touching on the present huge graduate unemployment situation in Ghana, said any further inaction could plunge the country into chaos, as present statistics were too alarming and presented a negative indicator for the nation’s development.
He called for rigorous research to generate enough data for the proposal of immediate solutions to issues, particularly those bordering on the poor outputs of university graduates on the job.
“Government must constantly engage and utilise the expertise of our local social scientists and academia in finding solutions to the country’s internal challenges, rather than engaging foreign social scientists whose proposed solutions are often modified to suit their own foreign environments,” he said.
Dr Akwetey further called for rigorous transformation of university programmes to address the issue of output of locally trained graduates from the country’s universities.
He said most corporate organisations had failed to employ locally produced university graduates in their establishments with explanation that their performances were often below standard and so they had to retrain them before they could fit into their regular stream of affairs.
Again other multinational companies preferred to bring in their own technical experts when they were awarded national contracts for the same reasons, instead of setting up programmes that would bring these locally trained graduates at par with their foreign counterparts.
He said Africans must strive to break the social science gap by taking steps towards influencing development dialogue worldwide.