By Iddi Yire, GNA
Accra, March 15, GNA - Ghana needs well-resourced and seasoned researchers to tackle national challenges through thorough policy interventions, Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, the Director of the University of Ghana (UG) Carnegie Projects, has said.
The Carnegie Corporation of New York and the University of Ghana, in 2010, started a project to build a new generation of academics in Africa to advance excellence in post-graduate research.
Prof Ntiamoa-Baidu, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the project had currently introduced the third component, which involves building the capacity of post-doctoral fellows through attachment.
She explained that early career Faculty Members were attached to experienced professors to serve as mentors, affording the beneficiaries time and opportunity to become exposed to the way tertiary institutions in other countries work or how laboratories do research.
Prof. Ntiamoa-Baidu explained that the idea was to encourage faculty members to undertake more research, to be more productive, to have the expertise and to do cutting edge research.
The project had supported about 125 PhD and 86 MPhil candidates and several early career Faculty members through fellowships and research grants.
She said all together the University of Ghana had received funding of nearly 10 million dollars from Carnegie and other donors.
Ms Deana Arsenian, the Vice President (International Programme) of Carnegie Corporation of New York, said the corporation had registered 1,500 fellowships and supported the strengthening of the higher education sector within Africa.
She said for the past three years, the Corporation’s strategy had focused on post-doctoral opportunities through support for institutions to offer opportunities to advance academic careers.
Ms Arsenian said the Carnegie philosophy was that the needs of higher education in Ghana and other West African countries were vast and a lot of effort was still needed for skills building.
She said since university faculties were very important, Carnegie’s contribution had helped to deepen Africa’s pool of highly trained intellectuals, which had, in turn, elevated the research potentials of African universities.
Dr Kwabena Kan-Dapaah, a beneficiary, said he joined UG as Faculty in 2011 with a Masters’ Degree after which he won a scholarship from UG-Carnegie to start his PhD studies.
He said the three-year scholarship took him to two different locations; a course work at a University in Abuja and a year in the United States, and finally got his PhD in 2015.
Dr Collins Badu Agyemang, a Lecturer at the Department of Psychology and a Carnegie scholar, commended Carnegie Corporation of New York for their immense support to University of Ghana.
He challenged all beneficiaries of the UG Carnegie projects to endeavour to connect the dots between their academic research findings and industry needs.
"As researchers, we certainly need to deconstruct our findings so that policy makers and the public can benefit from our context-driven research outputs," he said.