Published: 29 Mar 2017 Source: University Relations Office (URO)
To strengthen her capacity to deliver quality research, promote postgraduate education and to improve university-wide services and facilities that support research, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has rounded up activities of the second phase of the Building Stronger Universities (BSU II) project with a conference.
The BSU II conference was held to showcase research activities and findings of phase two of the DANIDA-funded partnership between KNUST and a consortium of Danish universities led by the University of Copenhagen. The BSU II Conference was on the theme: “Maximising Stakeholder Involvement in Productive Research and Uptake “.
Professor Robert Clement Abaidoo, the KNUST BSU II Project Anchor, stated that the project seeks to strengthen the research capacity of KNUST through the implementation of well- thought out programmes and activities, with the overall objective of supporting KNUST in creating an enabling environment for high quality and relevant research to execute its mandate.
Professor Abaidoo noted that BSU II was organised into four work packages (WP) namely: Climate-smart Agriculture and Environmental Management (WP1), Entrepreneurship and Job Creation (WP2), Health Delivery Systems (WP3) and University-wide services and facilities that support research (WP4).
Under WP4, BSU II, has provided enormous support for the KNUST library through the refurbishing of the Research Commons, procurement of relevant software and hardware as well as the training of library staff. The Central Laboratory has also benefitted from BSU II support mainly in the areas of staff training and laboratory management systems. The Office of Grants and Research has been equipped to establish satellite offices in the colleges.
Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso, the Vice-Chancellor, said that the theme was appropriate because the current challenges and opportunities called for the achievement of mutual goals through partnerships with stakeholders concerned.
Professor Obiri-Danso was happy that the conference had brought together funders, academics, researchers, educators and policy makers from diverse areas including agriculture, sanitation, pharmaceutical and other healthcare disciplines, the waste management industry, government and non-governmental organizations to deliberate on issues that would facilitate the generation of evidence-based solutions and communication to targeted audience. He hoped the conference would foster knowledge creation and sharing as well as discussion on thematic areas.
Representing the Royal Dutch Ambassador, Mr. Lasse Moller, Consular on Development at the Royal Dutch Embassy, stated that the BSU project which started in 2012 had seen several developments and support for research especially in training seven (7) PhD candidates for KNUST. He further stated that the BSU II project has enhanced the first phase and he pledged the continued support of the Danish government and partner institutions to the success of the project. He hoped that BSU III which is scheduled for 2017 to 2020 will spearhead research and development in Ghana.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Professor Kwabwna Frimpong Boateng, stated that all over the world science and technology are perceived as major tools for rapid social and economic development and it was the responsibility of higher institutions of learning to strive to make meaningful social and economic impact using these as the means. Professor Frimpong Boateng remarked that universities were constantly being called upon to solve various societal challenges and therefore faced an increasingly complex and diverse set of pressures.
He said in the midst of poor public attitude towards the environment, climate change and its attendant threats, health and economic challenges, research remains one of the panaceas for turning these challenges around and making the world a better place.
Professor Frimpong Boateng emphasized the appreciation of the government and the people of Ghana to the efforts of the Danish government in supporting KNUST and other higher institutions of learning. He was confident that the initiative would enhance research output and uptake to enable citizens improve their lives. Again it would enable people to make evidence-based decisions and use new knowledge to improve their quality of life.