The University of Cape Coast (UCC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) would soon embark on a joint project to strengthen Fisheries and Coastal Research to ensure Sustainable Management of Marine and Coastal Resources in Ghana.
The project would be hosted by the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (UCC) which has already been embarking on joint projects with the USAID through the Coastal Resources Centre- Ghana under the auspices of the University of Rhode Island, USA.
This came to light when two officials from the USAID office in Ghana paid a courtesy call on the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. D. D. Kuupole in his office. The officials were Mr. Peter Trenchard, Director of the Economic Growth Office USAID, Ghana and Mr. Justice Odei, Environmental Officer, USAID, Ghana.
Welcoming the officials Prof. Kuupole, commended USAID for providing funds for research and capacity building of individuals in the coastal communities through the Centre for Coastal Management, UCC. He pointed out that research must be focused on contributing to national development stressing that “Universities must generate knowledge to solve the challenges of our communities.
Prof. Kuupole therefore expressed delight that the project included capacity building to equip lecturers to impart knowledge to students as well as communities along the coastal belt. He gave the assurance that the Central Administration would offer the needed resources and put in place mechanisms to ensure that the objective of the project is realised.
In response, Mr. Peter Trenchard indicated that the USAID was currently embarking on programmes and projects in two countries in
Africa of which Ghana is included. He explained that the programmes aimed at “sustainable and broadly-shared economic growth” strategy by increasing competitiveness of major food value chains; improving enabling environment for private sector investment. Other focus of the programme and projects include increased government accountability and responsiveness and improved resilience of vulnerable households in targeted communities and reduced under-nutrition.
Mr. Trenchard expressed interest in partnering UCC for the sustainable management of coastal fisheries and also spelled out plans for other projects which would enhance the development of the nation. He praised UCC for the enviable feat it had achieved as a centre of excellence in Ghana and beyond.
Dr. Denis Worlanyo Aheto, Head of Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences expressed the readiness of the Department to partner USAID to implement the project since it has the required technical and administrative capacity to promote a shared agenda aimed at delivering needed interventions for sustainable fisheries and coastal management in Ghana.
Also in attendance at the meeting was the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Prof. Nelson J. Buah; the Registrar, Mr. Kofi Nyan; the Dean of the School of Biological Sciences, Dr. Isaac Galyuon and Prof. John Blay of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.