Madam Anne Sophie Avè, the French Ambassador to Ghana, says France is ready to go along with Ghana in its choices for higher education and research policies.
She noted that already, there had been mutual engagements to go further and invest in the long term, as both countries had a mutual recognition of training of graduates and undergraduates in 2015; and a partnership with Vice-Chancellors Ghana in 2018.
“Recently, during the President’s visit to France, we signed an agreement to facilitate the mobility of Ghanaian students and co-fund a certain number of scholarships to be defined every year”, she added.
Madam Avè said this during the fifth France Ghana Higher Education and Research Conference in Accra.
The conference, organised by the French Embassy, in collaboration with Institut Francais Ghana and Campus France Ghana, formed part of activities marking the Higher Education Week; and aimed at strengthening the existing education ties between France and Ghana.
It would also develop existing and new collaborations between the French and Ghanaian research centres; develop the joint degree and joint supervision at PhD level; and as well enhance students and researcher’s mobility.
Madam Avè stated that with regards to the fifth edition of its conference, the emphasis was on both higher education and research, and the need to invest in research since it helped in preparing towards the future.
She said French research institutions were already present in Ghana and are in collaboration with Ghanaian research institutions, specifically; the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development, for health and environment issues.
She said there was also, the French agricultural research and international cooperation organization, for issues related to agriculture.
She recalled that the French Embassy in Ghana launched in February 2019, a call for joint research programmes named ‘Nkabom’, adding that “we want to carry on developing partnerships”.
Professor Kwesi Yankah, Minister of State for Tertiary Education, said Goal 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) urged governments to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnerships for sustainable development.
He said this recognizes stakeholders as important vehicles for mobilizing and sharing knowledge, expertise, technologies and financial resources.
Prof Yankah further stated that it required all hands on deck, and calls on different sectors and actors to work together in an integrated manner by pooling financial resources, knowledge and expertise.
He said innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships were expected to play a crucial role for getting the Goals by the year 2030, adding that, “countries and governments all over the world have noted the significance of academic partnerships, compelling this to be written into vision statements, and core objectives of universities.
Prof Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Chairman of Vice-Chancellors Ghana, also noted that, four conferences had been organised so far, in Paris, France in 2014 whiles the rest had been held in Accra, Ghana; 2013, 2015 and 2017.
He said the outcome of the fourth edition of the conference led to the signing of an agreement between France and Ghana for the mutual recognition of degrees and diplomas.
Prof Owusu, who doubles as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, said: “We in the higher education sector owe it a duty to society and our nation to deliver quality higher education to the youth to ensure a sustainable supply of quality human capital for national development.
He emphasized that Ghana’s commitment to meet the SDGs would encounter a setback if the higher education sector was not effectively positioned to expand and increase access to higher education for the youth of the country.
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