The maiden International conference of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) of the Valley View University (VVU) opened in Accra on Wednesday.
The three-day workshop is on the theme: “Fostering Inclusiveness and Partnership for Sustainable Solutions to Africa’s Development Agenda: The Role of Government and Policy Makers, Universities, Industry and the Private Sector, Non-Governmental Organisations and the community.
The aim of the workshop is to bring stakeholders, institutions, Universities, Non-Governmental Organisations and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from across Africa together to deliberate, exchange and share ideas towards the sustainable development of the country.
Speaking at the opening, Dr Nana Ato Arthur, the Head of the Office of the Local Government Service, called for a paradigm shift of transformational leaders in all sectors of Africa and the country’s institutions.
The paradigm shift, Dr Arthur explained, would perfect the systems by addressing challenges confronting the country and Africa’s development.
He also believes reforming the legal framework that regulates Ghana’s human resources, revenue generation as well as the engagement of the poorest and vulnerable in society, in decision making was “another way closer to the progress of Africa”.
“Data should also be reliable for planning and budgeting, stating who and where we are as a continent, no one is ever going to be left behind,” he said.
He mentioned high levels of poverty, hunger, poor education, corruption and high rates of urbanisation as some of the problems Africa needed solutions to if it really wanted to develop.
He charged Universities to adequately impart in their students the practicalities of solving Africa’s problems through their teachings.
Professor Robert Osei-Bonsu, the Pro Vice Chancellor of VVU, lauded FASS for the timely organisation of the conference and called for effective collaboration among Africa and its development partners
He urged participants and Africans to orient themselves during the three-day engagement saying; “it is my hope that research findings that will emerge after the conference will go a long way to promote Africa’s development.”
Topics to be discussed would include; intra-female gender inclusiveness; strategic adaptation of traditional festivals for the sustainable development of the biodiversity of local communities in Ghana; holistic education; the role of church in Ghana’s development; Seventh-Day Adventist Church’s contribution to sustainable development in Ghana and African indigenous religious ethics, among others.