UCC, USAID to improve fisheries, coastal management in Ghana

FisheriesThe United States Agency for International Development (USAID),  has committed 5.5 Million dollars to the University of Cape Coast (UCC), for the implementation of a five-year capacity building programme for fisheries and coastal management in Ghana.

Professor. Domwini D. Kuupole, Vice Chancellor of UCC who announced this,  said the project is aimed at strengthening capacity for sustainable fisheries and resource management and the improvement of infrastructure for training and research of fisheries and coastal management.

He was addressing the Fifth Session of the 47th Congregation of the University, for a total of 2,371 students, who completed various programmes in the 2013/2014 academic year at the University

The Vice Chancellor said as part of the project, the university would receive support to establish a Centre for Coastal Management, as well as train 10 Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and 20 masters’ degree students, and also support 150 undergraduate students.

Prof Kuupole also announced that the university was in the process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Rhode Island (URI), USA,  to facilitate the capacity building initiative and that by October this year, the first batch of students would leave for URI.

He said the project which would contribute to the Government of Ghana’s Fisheries and Development objectives and “USAID’s Feed the Future initiative”, was one of the projects to be rolled out by the university through similar partnerships.

He said the project also sought to increase scientific knowledge for policy and technical advisory services, increase marine and coastal research and resource assessment, improve communication extension and outreach on fisheries and coastal issues and it related livelihood outcome.

Out of the students who graduated, 20 were Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) students, while 34 others were from Zenith University College, an affiliate of UCC.

Prof Kuupole stated that the School of Graduate Studies currently coordinated 240 graduate programmes, made up of 65 Ph.D., 100 Master of Philosophy , 72 masters, two Post –graduate Diplomas and one post graduate certificate programmes.

He said additional programmes were ready for consideration by the university’s Academic Board for the current academic year.

He pointed out that with the introduction of the “Early Bird” package for supervisors and other intervention strategies, such as seminars, most students were now able to complete within the stipulated time, a situation which hitherto discouraged many potential applicants.

In view of this, two Ph.D. students who were able to finish their programmes of study in the stipulated time, their supervisors and a staff of the graduate school were awarded at the ceremony.

Prof Kuupole underscored the importance of graduate work to national growth,  and said management of the university would continue to give the needed support to ensure that the graduate school accomplished its mandate of meeting the   socio- economic demands of higher education in Ghana and beyond.

He charged graduating students to work towards the progress of the country instead of allowing their culture, religion, education and political persuasion to become a barrier to their contribution to national development.

Nana Sam Brew Butler, Chairman of the University’s Governing Council stressed the importance of graduate studies, and advised the graduands to improve their lives and the country at large with the knowledge acquired.

Source: GNA

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