KOICA, UG sign $9m pact to improve research, ICT

The Korea International Cooperation Agency KOICA and the University of Ghana on Tuesday, signed a $9 million project to improve research, information and communication technology (ICT).

Called the Ghana-Korea Centre of Excellence for ICT-based Startups and Asian Research (GK-IMPACT), the project aims to support the cause of nurturing training students, and science lecturers of the university to use ICT tools for the development of the Ghanaian economy.

It was signed by the Country Director of KOICA, Mr Moo Heon Kong and Professor Nana Aba Amfo, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana.

It was witnessed by the Korean Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Lim Jung-Taek; the Senior Deputy Country Director of KOICA, Mr Seung Mi Oh; Dr Lyold G. Adu Amoah, Director, Centre for Asian Studies and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Deputy Country Representative, Mr Fiachra McAsey.

Mr Jung-Taek said the University of Ghana was a prestigious institution and the right place to implement the project.

He said GK-IMPACT was a meaningful project which would contribute to furthering the cooperative relationship between Korea and Ghana. 

Ambassador Jung-Taek noted that the Centre would make Ghana a hub for deepening understanding of Asia, in particular Korea’s unique and inspiring history of economic growth underpinned by cutting-edge technological advancements and innovation. 

He stated that the Republic of Korea would provide support for the implementation of the GK-IMPACT Project, thereby ensuring that the Centre becomes a world-class knowledge-sharing hub and platform for intercollegiate exchange and promotion of Korean culture and best-practices.

For his part, Mr Kong said KOICA believed that GK-IMPACT would function as a hub for digital transformation and pivotal in training future ICT entrepreneurs to lead the socio-economic development of Ghana.

In this regard, the KOICA Country Director said “We will require the concerted efforts, commitment and dedication of all stakeholders  including University of Ghana who shall host this centre of excellence, the Centre for Asian Studies, and UNICEF, a key partner in this project.”

Prof. Amfo said the Centre of Asian Studies was the first preemptive academic unit of the university, established in 2016 and exclusively dedicated to supporting research, training and exchange programmes in collaboration with Asia and other global partners.

She said GK-IMPACT would provide the opportunity for realising the mandate of Asian Studies as well as making the university a hub for building vibrant startups in the ICT sector.

Prof. Amfo told the Korean officials that the University of Ghana was training students to become critical thinkers, humane, culturally sensitive, technologically adept, and ready to provide leadership both locally and internationally.

“We are excited to partner you in another giant stride in our effort towards digitalisation. This agreement marks without doubt, one of the key moments in which the two countries now more than ever would engage intensively in the intellectual and technical levels.” 

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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