School of Social Sciences holds 5th International Conference

Prof. Charity S. Akotia, Dean of the School of Social Sciences

The School of Social Sciences, University of Ghana, has organised its 5th International Conference under the theme: Africa on the Move: Harnessing Socio-Economic and Environmental Resources for Sustainable Transformation. The two-day conference which brought together local and international participants was held from 3rd - 4th April, 2019 at the Bank of Ghana Auditorium, Department of Economics.

In her opening remarks, Prof. Charity S. Akotia, Dean of the School of Social Sciences, described the conference as a well-established tradition in the School, which she said was devoted to showcasing research to enhance socio-economic, cultural, psychological, political, and environmental transformation of the African continent. She also noted that the conference ties in with the School’s vision of becoming a world-class research-intensive school in the next decade. According to her, the conference provides an avenue for the school to exchange ideas with scholars and various stakeholders.

Prof. Samuel Agyei-Mensah, Provost, College of Humanities, who chaired the occasion, indicated that the conference provides the opportunity for Africa to reflect on its development. The reflection he noted was to be based on the different ideological and policy experiments that Africa has used in an attempt to move forward. The Provost indicated that most times policies and programmes developed are imposed by external players with a quest of domination through the exploitation of the continent’s natural resources. He therefore called for the reflection into the issues of the widespread inequality that has bedevilled the African continent. Prof. Samuel Agyei-Mensah was optimistic that the conference would address the direction of the transformation of the African continent.

Prof. Samuel Agyei-Mensah, Provost, College of Humanities

Prof. Samuel Agyei-Mensah, Provost, College of Humanities

Delivering the keynote address, Mr Charles Abugre, a Development Economist, called Africans to unite as the destiny of the continent was in their hands. Reflecting on the topic, “Agenda 2063: The Africa we want”, Mr Abugre stated that Africa must aim at sustainable structural economic transformation, innovation, science and technology, improved quality of life and skills empowerment. He indicated that structural transformation was based on the society whilst environmental transformation was based on choice on the ways of production.

Mr. Abugre also revealed that although Africa has progressed since the end of colonialism and must appreciate the past, geopolitical evasions, dependence on natural resources and domestic politicking have stifled its development. To help develop the continent, Mr. Abugre called for a diversification of the economy, electoral competitive democracy, and effective revenue mobilisation.

Mr. Charles Abugre

Topics discussed during the plenaries included Health Care Provision; Leadership, Governance and Politics; Contemporary Issues in Uganda; Financial Inclusion and Financial Sector Development; and Agricultural and Natural Resource Development. The rest were, Labour Market Issues and Economic Welfare; Work Behaviour and Attitudes; Health Issues in West Africa; Climate Change and Development in Africa; Security and Social Vulnerabilities; Emerging Issues in Sustainability; and Social Issues. There was a panel discussion on the theme by Dr. Asferachew A. Abate, Dr. Bawah Ayaga, Dr. Irene Susana Egyir and Dr. Faisal Garba.

As part of activities for the conference, four staff of the School of Social Sciences received awards for their outstanding performance in various categories. The awardees were Dr. Iddris Sulemana (Most Promising Young Scholar), Dr. Kwaku Oppong Asante (Best Researcher), Professor Martin Oteng-Ababio (Dean’s Award for Mentorship) and Mrs. Mary Eslander Quaye (Best Worker).

The Award Winners in a group photograph with the Dean of the School of Social Sciences

The conference was sponsored by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Stanlib Ghana limited and X mineral water.

Mr. Hellemann Burkhardt, Country Director of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

A Cross Section of audience at the event

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