The Jospong Group of Companies (JGC) has launched a GH¢5 million research fund to finance practical and sustainable research in the area of environmental sanitation by Ghanaian universities.
To be known as the Jospong Environmental Sanitation Research Fund, its aim is to support Ghana's public universities to develop 'home-grown' research-driven solutions to address the myriad of challenges impeding the effective management of waste in the country.
The initiative is in collaboration with the Africa Environmental Sanitation Consult, the research arm of the Jospong Group, the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources.
The launch also attracted representatives from the various universities and other stakeholders in the waste management industry.
All public universities are eligible to apply for funding to undertake quality research on wide-ranging sanitation issues such as incineration for energy recovery (Waste to Energy), leachate management and treatment, improvement in the quality of compost and waste collection, waste treatment dynamics and its economics, among others.
At the launch in Accra yesterday, the Executive Chairman of the Jospong Group, Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, said the main objective of the fund was to provide exclusive funding and implementation opportunities for practical and sustainable environmental sanitation research solutions by public universities.
He said research had always been at the core of the business of the Jospong Group over the years, and that the company had been partnering Ghanaian universities over the years to implement programmes and projects that would improve environmental sanitation.
He expressed the hope that the initiative would contribute to bridging the gap between academia and industry, and help develop sustainable interventions in the waste management sector.
“Nobody can solve the problems of Ghana more than us. Indeed, COVID-19 has indicated to us that we need to develop home-grown solutions to solve our problems. We are delighted about the fund and we pray that it would be useful and impactful," Dr Agyepong said.
Graphic sanitation campaign
The Director, Sales and Marketing at the GCGL, Mr Franklin Sowa, welcomed the initiative, saying that the move was in tandem with the Graphic National Sanitation Awareness Campaign, an initiative by the company which was launched last Wednesday.
He said the initiative, which aimed at promoting a clean and healthy environment, was hinged on awareness creation, education and enforcement of the law.
“We are confident that through the various programmes we intend to roll out as part of the campaign, our engagement with stakeholders and the production of impactful content, we will drive the adoption of a sustainable approach to tackle the sanitation menace,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Professor Rita Akosua Dickson, commended the Jospong Group for the initiative and urged all public universities to take advantage of the opportunity.
Describing research as the lifeline of academic institutions, she said access to funds for research projects had been a challenge for universities in the country over the years.
"For us as training and research institutions, it is our mandate to proffer solutions through research to ensure that the quality of lives of the society we serve is enriched. Partnership is key on this journey and we are happy about this opportunity," she said.
Jospong Group of Companies
The Group has business interests in about 14 sectors of the economy, with its biggest operations in waste management.
Through its broad spectrum of operations, it is focused on helping to improve standards of living and accelerating the general development of the country.