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.