Posts byAndreas Gohlke

A boost for regional sustainable development: West African Centre for Sustainable Rural Transformation launched in Ghana

July 11, 2019.

Launch ceremony at the University for Development Studies in Wa, Ghana, with more than 100 high-ranking participants, students and researchers from six West African countries and Germany on June 26, 2019.

The West African Center for Sustainable Rural Transformation will address technological, socio-economic, socio-political, administrative and cultural aspects of sustainable rural transformation. It will do so by conducting interdisciplinary research and developing teaching programs. Research and teaching will bring produce the required knowledge and applicable technological solutions, especially in the fields of renewable energies and agricultural water management. In addition, locally adapted business models and administrative approaches will be generated.

Capacity building at the core

The basic component of the West African Center for Sustainable Rural Transformation is capacity building. Based on its long-lasting experience ZEF will be leading the collaboration with the University for Development Studies in Ghana and the University Abdou Moumouni in Niger. An additional partner, with whom ZEF has been running successfully Graduate Programs such as the Ghanaian German Center for Development Studies, the Institute for Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana provides additional expertise and staff capacity training for the other African partners. The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Ministry through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Overall funding for the period 2017-2021 is approximately two million Euro.

High-ranking launch event in Ghana

The Centre was official launched on June 26, 2019 by the Upper West Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih in the presence of the Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies in Ghana, Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, and other distinguished guest such as the Head of Local Government Services, Dr. Nana Atto Arthur, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University Abdou Moumouni in Niger, Prof. Dr. Adamou Rabani, the country director of the DAAD, Lena Leumer, as well as the chairman and members of the university council of the University for Development Studies, as well as ZEF project leader Dr. Wolfram Laube. They were joined by more than 100 campus principals, deans, researchers, lecturers and students from Ghana, Niger, Burkina Faso, Benin, Nigeria, Liberia.

Strengthening African networks

Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies in Ghana, Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye explained that postgraduate training across the globe had undergone great transformation which required collaboration among the various institutions in order to provide excellent joint programs, supervision, research and teaching. He said that the West African Center for Sustainable Rural Transformation had begun to provide scholarships to a number of students within and outside the country to study at the university and had also broadened academic networks among the partners. This is leading to enhanced collaboration in research and academic exchange drawing on the expertise from of various partners for post-graduate teaching and the design of research projects.

Speakers

Among the speakers were Dr. Derbile, Dean of the Faculty for Planning and Land Management at the University for Development Studies in Wa in Upper West Ghana, host of the opening ceremony and also an alumnus of ZEF’s PhD program, Dr. Wolfram Laube, project leader at ZEF and Prof. Susana Barrera, Director of the Institute for Environmental Studies at the Nacional University in Bogotá. All speakers expressed their enthusiasm about the opportunities for scientific collaboration across borders, language barriers and disciplines provided by this project. Lena Leumer, Director of the DAAD Information Centre in Accra, said in her speech how excited she was that the West African Center for Sustainable Rural Transformation was part of the DAAD-funded African Excellence Program (the the ZEF-led Ghanaian German Center for Development Studies was also part of the DAAD Excellence Program).

ZEF Alumnus

Dr. Michael Ayamga, first Alumnus of the ZEF-led Ghanaian German Center for Development Studies extended his thanks to the participants of whom many had travelled from far distances. Additionally, he reminded the audience of the importance of establishing enduring relations and networks to share experiences and knowledge for mutual benefit. The ceremony closed with the official commissioning of the West African Center for Sustainable Rural Transformation building on the campus of the University for Development Studies at Wa in Upper West Ghana. The campus is hosting lecture rooms, computer lab, as well as office space for students and lecturers.

First Summer School concluded

The launch ceremony also marked the completion of the first one-month Summer School of the West African Center for Sustainable Rural Transformation taking place from June 3 to June 30, 2019. The Summer School brought together 39 Students pursuing different master programs at the Faculty for Science and Technology at the University Abdou Moumouni in Niamey, Niger and the Faculties for Agribusiness and Communication Sciences at the University for Development Studies in Tamale (Upper East Ghana) and Wa. The participants of the Summer School were coming from six West African Countries (Ghana, Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Liberia).

Written by Dr. Wolfram Laube and Alma van der Veen.

http://www.ghanaiantimes.com.gh/%EF%BB%BFuds-establishes-centre-for-sustainable-rural-transformation/

2nd DAAD Centres for Excellence Alumni Conference

 

Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Science and Education – was the topic of the 2nd DAAD Centres for Excellence Alumni Conference in Ghana. The conference was organized by the Ghanaian Alumni Network (IGAN) with the support of the Institute for Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana, the Ghanaian-German Centre for Development Studies (GGCDS), and the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn,  at the Volta Hotel in Akosombo from November 6th to 9th 2018.   

The conference’s main objective was to foster the enhancement and consolidation of an organized network encompassing alumni from the different Centres for African Excellence, while also providing a platform for scientific discussion relevant to the future of the centers vis-à-vis their contribution to sustainable development in African countries.

The objectives of the conference also encompassed, initially, discussions among the coordinators of the Centers for African Excellence, in order to define how they could further support the emerging Alumni Network as well as how the centers could collaborate in the future. This is reflected on the structure of the original program, which included parallel sessions organized in thematic groups (for the alumni to present their research), and plenary sessions of the alumni, of the coordinators, or of all participants, in order to advance a series of questions, such as:  

•             How has/can your research contributed/contribute to sustainable development?

•             How can/does the training received at the centers contribute to your professional practice in promoting sustainable development?

•             How could the centers further enhance students’ capabilities towards the promotion of sustainable development?

•             How can interdisciplinary cooperation between the African Centers of Excellence help to enhance sustainable development?

However, the need to define and develop a clear structure of the Alumni Network was recognized as one of the most urgent issues. The responsibility to deliver a complete report with the main results of the discussion was transferred to the Alumni Network Steering Committee.

Written by Aline Rose Barbosa Perreira.

Deadline extended to June 25th – 2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference

Dear all, as we still have some free slots for our alumni conference, we have extended the application deadline to June 25th. For those presenting their work in the conference, tickets for international travel, catering and accommodation will be provided.

2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference

Ghana, 06th – 09th November 2018

Abstract submission until June 25th 2018

Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Science and Education

The promotion of sustainable development is the result of an unprecedented global consensus about the need to foster economic development in ways that reduce poverty and inequality, to enhance political participation and good governance, without destroying the natural environment that forms the substrate of human life, taking into account both the needs of current and future generations. The ideals encompassed in the original formulation of the concept are broadly shared in public discourse and among important political institutions, as demonstrated by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Many academic institutions, as well as individual researchers, conduct research, design curricula, and train students in order to generate the required knowledge and professional expertise to transform public policies towards sustainable development. The DAAD Centers of Excellence in Sub-Saharan Africa agree on the importance of promoting sustainable development and advance sustainability through:

  • Research, producing innovative knowledge, approaches, and technologies helping to attain sustainable development
  • Training highly qualified professionals who can contribute to sustainable development working in multiple sectors within and outside of universities
  • Engaging in outreach activities promoting the DAAD Centers’ results, products and alumni

Since the nexus between the DAAD centers and their contribution to Africa’s sustainable development has not yet been explicitly addressed, we would like to invite you to the Second DAAD African Centers of Excellence Alumni Conference, which will address the topic Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Science and Education.

The Conference will be held in Accra, Ghana from 06th to 9th November 2018 at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), based in the University of Ghana, Legon. The 2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference results from a collaboration between ISSER, the Ghanaian-German Center for Development Studies (GGCDS), and the ISSER/GGCDS Alumni Network (IGAN).

We are interested in the experiences and contributions that the DAAD Centers of African Excellence have made towards the promotion of sustainability through their research, but also through the expertise they bring to bear in their professional practice. We also want to discuss where the alumni see additional potential for promotion of sustainable development by the centers. Thus the contributions should address the following questions:

  • How has/can your research contributed/contribute to sustainable development?
  • How can/does the training received at the centers contribute to your professional practice in promoting sustainable development?
  • How could the centers further enhance students’ capabilities towards the promotion of sustainable development?
  • How can interdisciplinary cooperation between the African Centers of Excellence help to enhance sustainable development?

While focusing on sustainable development in general, we are interested in fostering (interdisciplinary) discussions that relate to the many facets of sustainability addressed in the various centers:

  • Science, knowledge production and education
  • Logistics, economic development and financial inclusion
  • Natural resources governance and mineral extraction
  • Governance and law
  • Agriculture, rural development and rural-urban transformation
  • Migration and social mobility

The conference will be organized in thematic workshops. In these workshops the core questions outlined will be addressed. The output from individual workshops and the plenary discussion will be captured and compiled in a conference report. This report will detail current successes, identify capacity needs, and potential areas of future collaboration.

In order to participate, please send an abstract (not more than 500 words) of your intended presentation and a short summary of your curriculum vitae (including, if applicable, your most relevant publications). Please also indicate in which thematic workshop you would like to present your work (e.g. Science, Knowledge production and education; logistics, economic development and financial inclusion; natural resources governance and mineral extraction, etc.). Proposals shall be sent to the email addresses igan.ghana@gmail.com and Tetteh.alumni@gmail.com with the subject “Abstract – application to the 2nd DAAD Alumni conference” until June 15th 2018. A scientific committee with members from ISSER, GGCDS and of the ISSER/GGCDS alumni network will select the participants based on the quality of their proposal, their academic and professional activities, and the thematic pertinence of their contribution. Gender balance and diversity among participants (including all DAAD centers for African Excellence) will also be considered.

For those alumni presenting their work in the conference tickets for international travel, catering and accommodation in Accra will be provided.

Here the tentative programme: Alumni Conference 2018-Call for applicationsAP-14.06.18

REMINDER – CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference – send your abstract until June 15th 2018

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference

Accra, Ghana, 06th – 09th November 2018

Abstract submission until June 15th 2018

Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Science and Education

The promotion of sustainable development is the result of an unprecedented global consensus about the need to foster economic development in ways that reduce poverty and inequality, to enhance political participation and good governance, without destroying the natural environment that forms the substrate of human life, taking into account both the needs of current and future generations. The ideals encompassed in the original formulation of the concept are broadly shared in public discourse and among important political institutions, as demonstrated by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Many academic institutions, as well as individual researchers, conduct research, design curricula, and train students in order to generate the required knowledge and professional expertise to transform public policies towards sustainable development. The DAAD Centers of Excellence in Sub-Saharan Africa agree on the importance of promoting sustainable development and advance sustainability through:

  • Research, producing innovative knowledge, approaches, and technologies helping to attain sustainable development
  • Training highly qualified professionals who can contribute to sustainable development working in multiple sectors within and outside of universities
  • Engaging in outreach activities promoting the DAAD Centers’ results, products and alumni

Since the nexus between the DAAD centers and their contribution to Africa’s sustainable development has not yet been explicitly addressed, we would like to invite you to the Second DAAD African Centers of Excellence Alumni Conference, which will address the topic Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Science and Education.

The Conference will be held in Accra, Ghana from 06th to 9th November 2018 at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), based in the University of Ghana, Legon. The 2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference results from a collaboration between ISSER, the Ghanaian-German Center for Development Studies (GGCDS), and the ISSER/GGCDS Alumni Network (IGAN).

We are interested in the experiences and contributions that the DAAD Centers of African Excellence have made towards the promotion of sustainability through their research, but also through the expertise they bring to bear in their professional practice. We also want to discuss where the alumni see additional potential for promotion of sustainable development by the centers. Thus the contributions should address the following questions:

  • How has/can your research contributed/contribute to sustainable development?
  • How can/does the training received at the centers contribute to your professional practice in promoting sustainable development?
  • How could the centers further enhance students’ capabilities towards the promotion of sustainable development?
  • How can interdisciplinary cooperation between the African Centers of Excellence help to enhance sustainable development?

While focusing on sustainable development in general, we are interested in fostering (interdisciplinary) discussions that relate to the many facets of sustainability addressed in the various centers:

  • Science, knowledge production and education
  • Logistics, economic development and financial inclusion
  • Natural resources governance and mineral extraction
  • Governance and law
  • Agriculture, rural development and rural-urban transformation
  • Migration and social mobility

The conference will be organized in thematic workshops. In these workshops the core questions outlined will be addressed. The output from individual workshops and the plenary discussion will be captured and compiled in a conference report. This report will detail current successes, identify capacity needs, and potential areas of future collaboration.

In order to participate, please send an abstract (not more than 500 words) of your intended presentation and a short summary of your curriculum vitae (including, if applicable, your most relevant publications). Please also indicate in which thematic workshop you would like to present your work (e.g. Science, Knowledge production and education; logistics, economic development and financial inclusion; natural resources governance and mineral extraction, etc.). Proposals shall be sent to the email addresses igan.ghana@gmail.com and Tetteh.alumni@gmail.com with the subject “Abstract – application to the 2nd DAAD Alumni conference” until June 15th 2018. A scientific committee with members from ISSER, GGCDS and of the ISSER/GGCDS alumni network will select the participants based on the quality of their proposal, their academic and professional activities, and the thematic pertinence of their contribution. Gender balance and diversity among participants (including all DAAD centers for African Excellence) will also be considered.

For those alumni presenting their work in the conference tickets for international travel, catering and accommodation in Accra will be provided.

See the attached file for the tentative program: Alumni Conference 2018-Call for applications

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference – send your abstract until June 15th 2018

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference

Accra, Ghana, 06th – 09th November 2018

Abstract submission until June 15th 2018

Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Science and Education

The promotion of sustainable development is the result of an unprecedented global consensus about the need to foster economic development in ways that reduce poverty and inequality, to enhance political participation and good governance, without destroying the natural environment that forms the substrate of human life, taking into account both the needs of current and future generations. The ideals encompassed in the original formulation of the concept are broadly shared in public discourse and among important political institutions, as demonstrated by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Many academic institutions, as well as individual researchers, conduct research, design curricula, and train students in order to generate the required knowledge and professional expertise to transform public policies towards sustainable development. The DAAD Centers of Excellence in Sub-Saharan Africa agree on the importance of promoting sustainable development and advance sustainability through:

  • Research, producing innovative knowledge, approaches, and technologies helping to attain sustainable development
  • Training highly qualified professionals who can contribute to sustainable development working in multiple sectors within and outside of universities
  • Engaging in outreach activities promoting the DAAD Centers’ results, products and alumni

Since the nexus between the DAAD centers and their contribution to Africa’s sustainable development has not yet been explicitly addressed, we would like to invite you to the Second DAAD African Centers of Excellence Alumni Conference, which will address the topic Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Science and Education.

The Conference will be held in Accra, Ghana from 06th to 9th November 2018 at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), based in the University of Ghana, Legon. The 2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference results from a collaboration between ISSER, the Ghanaian-German Center for Development Studies (GGCDS), and the ISSER/GGCDS Alumni Network (IGAN).

We are interested in the experiences and contributions that the DAAD Centers of African Excellence have made towards the promotion of sustainability through their research, but also through the expertise they bring to bear in their professional practice. We also want to discuss where the alumni see additional potential for promotion of sustainable development by the centers. Thus the contributions should address the following questions:

  • How has/can your research contributed/contribute to sustainable development?
  • How can/does the training received at the centers contribute to your professional practice in promoting sustainable development?
  • How could the centers further enhance students’ capabilities towards the promotion of sustainable development?
  • How can interdisciplinary cooperation between the African Centers of Excellence help to enhance sustainable development?

While focusing on sustainable development in general, we are interested in fostering (interdisciplinary) discussions that relate to the many facets of sustainability addressed in the various centers:

  • Science, knowledge production and education
  • Logistics, economic development and financial inclusion
  • Natural resources governance and mineral extraction
  • Governance and law
  • Agriculture, rural development and rural-urban transformation
  • Migration and social mobility

The conference will be organized in thematic workshops. In these workshops the core questions outlined will be addressed. The output from individual workshops and the plenary discussion will be captured and compiled in a conference report. This report will detail current successes, identify capacity needs, and potential areas of future collaboration.

In order to participate, please send an abstract (not more than 500 words) of your intended presentation and a short summary of your curriculum vitae (including, if applicable, your most relevant publications). Please also indicate in which thematic workshop you would like to present your work (e.g. Science, Knowledge production and education; logistics, economic development and financial inclusion; natural resources governance and mineral extraction, etc.). Proposals shall be sent to the email addresses igan.ghana@gmail.com and Tetteh.alumni@gmail.com with the subject “Abstract – application to the 2nd DAAD Alumni conference” until June 15th 2018. A scientific committee with members from ISSER, GGCDS and of the ISSER/GGCDS alumni network will select the participants based on the quality of their proposal, their academic and professional activities, and the thematic pertinence of their contribution. Gender balance and diversity among participants (including all DAAD centers for African Excellence) will also be considered.

For those alumni presenting their work in the conference tickets for international travel, catering and accommodation in Accra will be provided.

See the attached file for the tentative program: Alumni Conference 2018-Call for applications

West African Center for Sustainable Transformation (WAC-SRT), Update April 2018

Bonn, April 2018. The West African Center for Sustainable Transformation (WAC-SRT) is one of eight Centers of African Excellence funded by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD under the “Aktion Afrika” initiative of the German Federal Foreign Office.

What is the WAC-SRT and what does it want to achieve?

Established in 2017, WAC-SRT has been developing interdisciplinary, transnational research and teaching programs. The Center aims at generating expertise, applicable technological solutions, locally adapted business models and development management approaches for sustainable rural development and political stability in West Africa.  To do so, the center enhances research and teaching capacities as well as the infrastructure of three African partner faculties at universities in Niger and Ghana, which are addressing natural science/engineering, agribusiness and rural economics, as well as development governance, respectively.

Partner institutions are the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University Bonn, Germany, the Institute for Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana /Legon, the Faculty of Planning and Land Management as well as the Faculty of Agribusiness and Communication Science at the University of Development Studies (UDS) in Wa/Tamale (Ghana), and the Faculty of Science and Technology at the Université Abdou Moumouni (UAM) in Niamey (Niger).

Activities since kick-off:

Since its inception the WAC-SRT has focused on the enhancement of academic infrastructure at the partner faculties in Ghana and Niger where lecture halls and project offices were rehabilitated and newly furnished. Additionally, computer labs and E-learning equipment was procured and installed.

Nearby Niamey, the WAC-SRT has built a demonstration site for renewable energy generation and improved water supply. It consists of a photovoltaic power station and is equipped with a borehole including pumps for domestic and irrigation water supplies. The station will be used for research purposes and to train government and NGO staff promoting decentralized renewable energy generation and water supply infrastructure.

In Ghana, the curricula of two master programs at UDS (M.Phil. in Development Management and M.Phil. in Agricultural Economics) were reviewed. In Niger, a new interdisciplinary master program in Sustainable Rural Transformation was designed and accredited at the UAM. Calls for admission for all three master programs have been published and 18 students will be supported with DAAD scholarships from September 2018.

Currently, WAC-SRT is organizing capacity building programs for administrative and academic staff of the African partner institutes. The trainings are organized by ISSER and are held in Accra. The focus lies on data management and E-Learning for administrative staff, while academics will be trained in academic writing as well as poverty measurement and analysis.

Vice Dean visiting Bonn:

As part of the academic networking within WAC-SRT, Samuel Bonye, the vice dean of the Faculty of Planning and Land Management (UDS), is visiting ZEF from April to June 2018. During his visit he makes use of ZEF’s academic infrastructure to work on his study of “Multi Stakeholder Players in the Land Sector in Peri-Urban Wa; competition, conflict complementarity?”, that he will present and discuss with colleagues at ZEF in May.