UCC Vice-Chancellor urges African universities to offer solutions to global challenges
Professor Johnson Nyarko Boampong, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), has challenged universities across Africa to show strong commitment to offering solutions to the debilitating continental and global challenges.
He said the higher education landscape would see further changes over the next decade, in response to global issues confronting humanity, which would demand cutting-edge technological solutions.
Prof Boampong was speaking at the Sixth Research Awards and Grants ceremony to support 45 Lecturers with grants totalling one million Ghana cedis to facilitate their research works.
This is to motivate and honour the faculty members who distinguished themselves through impact-oriented research and those who have shown potentials in the same regard.
Professor Boampong said African universities must be confident to take bold and decisive steps towards identifying such developmental needs, empower human resource with innovative academic programmes and entrepreneurial mindset to offer workable solutions to the challenges the world faces.
He cited the global and national response to the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic as having heightened the urgent need for universities in Africa to respond to the growing world crisis.
“The role of universities in offering sustainable solutions to the developmental challenges of society through innovative research, dissemination of knowledge and community service is key.”
“The pandemic has proven to be just more than an infectious disease that has exposed weak economies, inadequate health infrastructure, society cohesion and disrupted educational systems,” he said.
Hailing UCC’s recent feat in scientific research and innovations, Professor Boampong said the University instituted the Award and Research Support Grants in 2016 to encourage excellence and innovation in research to improve its relevance to society.
Many research projects funded by the Grant had yielded scholarly index in high impact journals and contributed to making UCC eligible for the Times Higher Education Global Ranking.
The University had also developed a research agenda for 2018 to 2022 in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063, and Ghana’s National Development Plan 2057.
Prof Frederick Ato Armah, the Director of the Directorates of Research, Innovation, and Consultancy (DRIC), noted that the Grant had been expanded to include non-teaching senior members, who, as part of their promotion, needed to publish.
The Directorate identified a number of research proposals that had great potentials and could make impact on health and well-being, and socio-economic development, and gave special funding to ensure that they made an impact beyond the institution.
The awards ceremony, which centered on social, economic, educational environmental health and developmental needs, saw five of the total, who performed creditably, receiving outstanding awards.
They are Dr Ernest Teye, Senior Lecturer, School of Agriculture, winning the Best Evolved Researcher, and received GH¢6,000.00, a plaque and a Certificate of Recognition, and Dr Alex Boye, Senior Lecturer, Department of Medical Science Laboratory, emerging the Best Evolving Researcher, who received GH¢5,000.00, a plaque and a Certificate of Recognition.
Dr Innocent Senyo Kwesi Acquah with the College of Humanity and Legal Studies, Dr Samuel Abokyi, College of Health and Allied Sciences, Dr Samuel Kofi Tulashie, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, and Dr Valentina Arkorful, College of Distance Education, received the Best College Level Research Awards.
Each of them received GH¢4,000.00, a plaque and a certificate of recognition.