Ghana, Niger (WAC-SRT)

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/

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.

Calls for Application: Master Programs of the NEW West African Center for Sustainable Rural Transformation (WAC-SRT) in Ghana and Niger, 2018

Dear colleagues,

since last November the West African Center for Sustainable Rural Transformation (WAC-SRT) has joined the African Excellence initiative. It is run in collabotration between the Center for Development Research (ZEF) University of Bonn, Germany, the Université Abdou Moumouni (UAM) in Niamey, Niger, the University for Development Studies (UDS), Wa and Tamale, Ghana and Institute for Social and Economic Research (SSER) of the University of Ghana. For more information see:

https://www.zef.de/project/WACSRT

Apart from the enhancement of research and teaching infrastructure, capacity building, academic networking it also provides stipends for master students in three new/reviewed master programs addressing sustainable rural transformation from and inter/multidisciplinary perspective:

  • Integrated Master Program in Sustainable Transformation of Rural Areas (Faculty of Science and Technology, UAM (M. Sc.)
  • Master Program in Development Management, Faculty of Planning and Land Management, UDS, Wa (M. Phil.)
  • Master Program in Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agribusiness and Communication Science, UDS, Tamale (M. Phil)

The calls are open for ainternational applicants. Deadline for application is the 31.05.2018

Please find links to the the respective calls below.

Best regards.

Wolfram Laube

Advert DAAD Scholarship 2018 MPhil Dev. Mgt

Advert_DAAD_Scholarship_2018_MPhil_AgriEcons

Application Call IMP-SRT