Ghana has once again received high commendation from the Association of African Universities (AAU), for providing both financial and material support for the construction of a secretariat for the association in Accra.
“Permit me to single out for mention, the Government of Ghana, which, through its headquarters agreement with the AAU, provides office premises for the Association’s Secretariat and a residence for the Secretary General”, Prof Etienne E. Ehile, Secretary-General of the Association, told delegates attending the 18th Conference of Rectors, Vice Chancellors and Presidents of African Universities, (COREViP) in the Rwandan Capital, Kigali.
“Even better, the Ghana Government has granted our association, through its dedicated fund to the development of education, the “GETFund”, the means to build our own premises, an ultra-modern secretariat for which capital campaign fund has been launched.
This campaign is still running, and we count on the benevolence of you all to contribute to this worthy cause,” Prof Ehile said.
Ghana, at the last COREViP meeting in Libreville, Gabon in 2013, confirmed the offer through the Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, to offer land and the seed money for the construction of the secretariat.
The promise was made good when on December 17, 2014, the sod was cut for the start of the construction at East Legon in Accra.
The 5.8-million-dollar three-storey project would house the office of the Secretary-General and seven other directorates and departments when completed.
The other departments include, library facilities, a 50-seater conference room, offices for the knowledge, Management and ICT programmes and projects, and administration and finance, as well as research.
The new secretariat would also provide more working space for new projects, programmes and offices, promote organisation of conferences and workshops on Higher Education, provide cheaper alternate sources of power (Solar Energy) to cut down energy consumption and cost.
The AAU would also be able to provide working space for visiting scholars while researchers would also have access to the library in addition to ensuring disability access.
In another development, Prof Ehile, thanked all the partners of the association for their great contributions to its projects over the years.
Some of the centres which aim to promote post graduate training and research in African Universities can be found in 19 universities including the University of Ghana and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
The other projects are the Database of African Theses and Dissertation, Quality Assurance project, Leadership and Management Development Programmes, Staff Exchange and Small Grants for Thesis and Dissertation, and several other high profiled programmes and projects for the benefit of members.
Ultimately, all these are aimed to improve the quality of higher education in Africa, Prof Ehile added, and appealed for support whether in kind or cash, to complete the project on time.
The Conference of Rectors, Vice-Chancellors and Presidents of African Universities is an assembly of the Chief Executive Officers of member institutions or their representatives. It meets every two years with the purpose of collectively examining themes identified as common concerns and priorities for the development of higher education in member institutions.
The AAU, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education of Rwanda and the University of Rwanda (UR), is organising the conference, which is on the theme “Internationalisation of Higher Education in Africa.”