KNUST to host German-West African Centre for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention

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Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is set to host a new German-West African Centre (G-WAC) for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention within the University’s College of Health Sciences.

The G-WAC project that officially started on Saturday, May 1, 2021, with funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) worth about €2.8 million will be officially launched soon.

The Centre is one of the eight new DAAD-funded Global Centres for Climate and Health to be established across low- and middle-income countries.

A statement issued by the University Relations Office, signed by Dr Norris Bekoe, in-charge of the Office, a copy made available to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Kumasi, indicated that the Centre aimed to address global challenges with a commitment of approximately €22 million in funding from the German Foreign Office from 2021 to 2025.

G-WAC at KNUST, according to the statement, was expected to be a Centre of Excellence dedicated to addressing the existential threat of global pandemics to the health and the welfare of people in the West-African sub-region and beyond.

Among other things, the innovative exchange programmes for postgraduate training which G-WAC will engage in will provide at least 14 doctoral training opportunities across disciplines, the statement added.

It said G-WAC will also offer study and research stays at the partner institutions in Ghana and abroad to Masters’s students and other young scientists.

The Centre also aims at establishing a West African policy dialogue on topics relevant to Global Health, Pandemic Prevention and One Health.

The statement pointed out that in pursuance of the noble objective, a meeting had been held at KNUST between representatives of the German Embassy and KNUST authorities.

“The German Ambassador to Ghana, Christoph Retzlaff, lauded the initiative and assured Germany’s support to the launch of G-WAC in Ghana,” the statement noted.

It added that the Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, Professor (Mrs.) Rita Akosua Dickson, on her part, said the G-WAC was another demonstration of the University’s outstanding history of impactful collaborations with national and international institutions of higher education and research.

“With our combined capacity to address the challenges of pandemic preparedness, expanding our institutional remit to establish a Centre of excellence as a dedicated effort to advance state-of-the-art research and practice in global health with a focus on pandemic preparedness is both timely and of potentially great impact not only for Ghana but the rest of Africa”, she added.

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