UG, German gov’t set up Centre for Advanced Studies

Prof. Francis Dodoo (front right) and Prof. Andreas Mehler (front left), accompanied by H.E Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German President and Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, UG Vice-Chancellor at the signing

The University of Ghana has signed an agreement with the German Ministry of Education to establish the Merian International Centre for Advanced Studies (MICAS) in Africa, headquartered in Ghana.

Sited at the University of Ghana, Legon campus, the Centre which will develop an intellectual programme and research agenda, that seeks to bridge the knowledge divides between Africa and the rest of the world.

It will serve as a centre for high-quality evidence-based research in the areas of democratic governance, conflict management, and sustainable development, which outfit is expected to boost the relevance of African thinking within the global academic world and shape policy-making.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Prof. Francis Dodoo, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Development at the University of Ghana, who signed the MoU on behalf of Ghana, noted that, being selected as the home of the initiative signals that the University has indeed attained global recognition.

“The consortium that won the bid to establish the Merian Centre held a strong conviction that the College of Humanities, our University, our country Ghana and West Africa, offered the best location to bring together both leading and emerging scholars from Africa and the world to produce and disseminate pathbreaking, rigorous and relevant scholarship in the social sciences and the humanities in Africa.

We pledge to do our utmost to ensure that the Institute thrives and catalyses African centred knowledge production for addressing some of the burning global issues of the 21st Century,” he added.

Prof. Andreas Mehler, Director of the Arnold- Bergstraesser Institute, Freiburg University, who also signed the agreement on behalf of Germany, stated that the Centre will put top research in the Humanities and Social Sciences on a new, internationally recognised level, giving it a new direction, with “Sustainable Governance” being key topic around which the research at the Institute will organise.

He further added: “All of us are deeply convinced, that this theme offers great potential for policy advice and outreach to Africa’s academic communities.

We want to activate high potentials within people, and we want to foster a climate of true collaboration among the fellows of the Institute—between senior and junior researchers, African and non-African researchers, and across disciplinary boundaries.”

The newly established Centre is expected to start full operations next year.

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