University of Ghana (UG), Legon, has inaugurated two new buildings, the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies and the UG Doctoral Building, to provide a conducive learning environment for students and promote research.
The Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies (CCSD) was constructed with a US$1.6 million grant from the Open Society Foundations (OSF).
At a ceremony to inaugurate the buildings, the Director of UG Carnegie, Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, said the CCSD demonstrated the importance that the university placed on developing human resources and expertise in climate change and sustainable development issues.
She said in 2011, the University of Ghana won a competitive grant of US$1.6 million from the Open Society Foundations (OSF) to implement a project, titled, “building capacity to meet the Climate Change Challenge (B4C).
“As part of the deliverables, the project was expected to see to the establishment of a centre of excellence for global environmental change research at UG that will further enhance its capability to contribute effectively to Ghana’s ability to adapt to climate change,” she said.
The building has nine offices for a director, secretarial staff and faculty, a data resource unit, as well as two large lecture halls and a seminar room for students.
The data resource unit will house climate change and other relevant environmental data for both students of UG and the general public, and it is anticipated that the centre will become the first port of call for people looking for information on global environmental change issues.
Prof. Ntiamoa-Baidu said the doctoral building was constructed upon consultation with PhD students who mentioned space as one of their greatest need beyond the financial stress.
She said the doctoral building would house the UG-Pan African Doctoral Academy and also provide space for PhD students, comprising reading rooms, seminar rooms, lecture halls, a room for computer resources and a kitchenette to be fully equipped and dedicated solely for PhD students.
“We invite Ghanaian students and students from other West African countries who want to pursue PhD training to come to UG to experience a totally conducive learning environment,” she said.
Hub of research
The University of Ghana, she said, had embarked on an ambitious journey to become a research-intensive university and expressed the hope that the new facilities would help position UG to achieve this.
“These facilities, no doubt, will help UG to strengthen its programmes and deliver the much needed training and research capacity, as well as consolidate its position as a centre of excellence for global environmental change research,” she said.
She added that “with such facilities, UG will be in a better position to contribute to capacity development to improve the Ghanaian and African voices in global climate change and sustainability dialogues.”
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, reiterated the need for quality PhD training, as it was important to the university as an institution and to the nation at large.
He expressed gratitude to the donors of the project and said the university was committed to sustaining PhD training to ensure that quality teaching was improved in the country.