School of Social Sciences Holds 4th International Conference

Professor Charity Sylvia Akotia, Dean of School of Social Sciences

The School of Social Sciences of the College of Humanities has organized its 4th International Conference under the theme “Socio-Economic Transformation for Accelerated and Sustainable Development of Africa”.  The two-day conference was held from 11th - 12th April, 2018 at the Bank of Ghana Auditorium, Department of Economics. The conference attracted over four hundred local and international participants with about 110 oral presentations.  The Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Professor Charity Sylvia Akotia, in her welcome address indicated that the School’s annual conference has expanded and continued to attract a myriad of researchers both locally and internationally.

The theme for the conference was timely as many developing countries strive to close up global development gaps. The conference therefore sought to answer some vital questions including how Africa’s socio-economic development could be charted to make it socially balanced as well as sustainability and resilient for the African continent. Prof. Akotia in her welcome address expressed appreciation to the organizing committee for putting together such a stimulating programme and for their timely review of all the abstracts. She also thanked the World Bank for their continuous support and for co-sponsoring the conference.

The opening ceremony of the conference was chaired by the Provost for the College of Humanities, Professor Samuel Agyei-Mensah. During his remarks, he highlighted three critical issues; why Africa has not yet transformed, why Africa should transform and how Africa can draw lessons from emerging countries. The Provost added that the goals to achieving economic growth would have little value if drivers of socio-economic transformation are not critically examined, especially in low-income countries in Africa. He was however confident that the various research findings that would be presented during the conference and the follow-up discourse would find expression in policy formulation. He ended by saying that Africa needs vision, flexibility and hard work in order to transform.

Professor Samuel Agyei-Mensah, Provost of the College of Humanities

In brief remarks, the Provost of the College of Health Sciences, Reverend Professor Patrick Ayeh-Kumi who represented the Vice-Chancellor cited the various challenges of economic transformation and recommended measures to overcome them.

Reverend Professor Patrick Ayeh-Kumi, Provost of College of Health Sciences

The keynote address was delivered, by Professor Abena Oduro, Director of the Centre for Social Policy Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of Economics on behalf of Professor Elizabeth Asiedu. In her address, Professor Oduro focused on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 and noted that gender equality and female empowerment is vital to the attainment of the overall SDGs. Women, she noted constituted more than half of the population of countries in sub-Sahara Africa and as such cannot be marginalized. Professor Oduro indicated that education, political representation, access to credit financial services, labour market participation and asset ownership are some of the major ways of ensuring gender equality and female empowerment in Africa.

Professor Abena Oduro, keynote speaker at the conference

As part of activities for the conference, four staff of the School of Social Sciences were awarded for their outstanding performance in various categories. The awardees were Dr. Joana Salifu Yendorf (Most Promising Young Scholar), Dr. Michael Danquah (Best Researcher), Professor Peter Quartey (Dean’s Award for Mentorship) and Mr. Joseph Tinkorang (Best Worker).

A panel discussion was held on the second day of the conference on the theme “Transforming Africa Beyond Aid: How Feasible?”. The panelists were Professor Dzodzi Tsikata, Director, Institute of African Studies; Dr. Yaw Ansu, Chief Economist, African Center for Economic Transformation; Dr. Vladimir Antwi- Danso, Director of Academic Affairs, Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College; and Dr. Radhika Lal, Economic Advisor, UNDP. The moderator of the panel discussion was the former Rector of GIMPA, Professor Stephen Adei.

The School also used the occasion to outdoor its beautifully designed cloth.

A cross section of the audience at the conference


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