19 Aug 2019

DAAD Alumni Meeting Ghana

by Madinatu Bello and Prisca Ama Anima

A delegation of the SDG-Graduate School ‘Performing Sustainability’ attended the Alumni Workshop organized by the DAAD in Accra, Ghana in June 2019. The meeting was held for all DAAD-funded alumni in Ghana, in order to fashion out strategies to strengthen networking among the alumni and harness their expertise to solve global challenges. It was under the theme “SDGs: The Role of German-Ghanaian Alumni Networks in Tackling Global Challenges.”

The workshop was opened by Mrs. Lena Leumer, Director of DAAD in Accra. She explained that the main reason for the workshop was the creation of a strong network of DAAD alumni in Ghana which would enable DAAD track its alumni, connect them to possible job opportunities and further widen networking practices. She also led participants through funding options and training resources available for the DAAD alumni. Two keynote addresses were given.

Forchibe Ethelyn Echep of African Regional Postgraduate Programme in Insect Science (ARPPIS), University of Ghana presented the first keynote on the topic “Capacity Building for Food Security and Poverty Reduction: Examples from ARPPIS”. She stressed on the importance of providing security for our food production through the use of non-poisonous chemical substances and preventing pests from destroying food crops. She also emphasised the need to produce edible insects for income generation which would contribute to poverty reduction.

Madinatu Bello, a scholarship holder of the SDG-Graduate School ‘Performing Sustainability’ presented the second keynote address on the topic “International Research Networking to Tackle Global Challenges: Examples from the SDG-Graduate School”. She explained the structure and composition of the SDG Graduate School, the goal and forms of networks within and the possible implications on achieving the SDGs.

Joy Owango of TCC, Kenya facilitated the session on training alumni in scientific research communication, after which there were group work sessions on future framework for German-Ghanaian alumni networks. The first group session was on alumni activities for sustainable network. Participants proposed the creation of alumni clubs on campuses for academic institutions where seminars and other programmes would to organised in order to keep the network going and growing. At the end of the deliberations, we concluded on creating four network zones in Ghana which would comprise the various network clubs on campuses and industry. Participants discussed the goals of the alumni network to encompass but not limited to job networking, consultancy services, actualising viable alumni projects and expanding the alumni networking through presentations of DAAD funding types to prospective alumni. In terms of organisational and communication structures for sustainable network, participants proposed the formation of zone committee representatives that would report activities of alumni to the national secretariat. The communication strategies comprised alumni Facebook page, telegram, emailing list, alumni portals and WhatsApp medium. Each zone elected two representatives to constitute the committee.

We would like congratulate the organisers of the workshop for bridging the cavity between disciplines in order to create interdisciplinary network forms. which we are optimistic would develop into viable collaborations. Besides, we are happy about the idea of the creation of an alumni network at the University of Cape Coast which would widen the already existing networks. Participants at the workshop include Prof. Dora Edu-Boandoh, Pro-Vice Chancellor of UCC and Prof. Florian Carl Board member of the SDG-Graduate School and Head of Music Department, UCC.