WACCI Performs Sod-Turning Ceremony for the Construction of a Multi-Purpose Building

 

The Vice Chancellor performing the sod-turning ceremony for the construction of a multi-purpose building

 

The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) of the University of Ghana has performed a sod-turning ceremony for the construction of a Multi-purpose building. The project which is being funded by the World Bank Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project and the Centre’s internally generated funds is estimated at $2.4 million and is expected to be completed in 18 months.
 
 

Vice-Chancellor Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, while congratulating WACCI on its achievements, pledged the University’s continued support for the Centre.  He assured the donors of the University’s commitment to excellence in all its endeavours, which he hoped would encourage more investments into the University.

The Acting Provost of College of Basic and Applied Sciences (CBAS), Prof. John Ofosu-Anim in his welcome address expressed appreciation to special guests for taking time off their busy schedule to grace the occasion and stressed that the construction is just a milestone in the success of the Centre.

Professor Eric Y. Danquah, Director of WACCI, who made a captivating presentation on transforming WACCI into a sustainable Centre of Excellence for training plant breeders and seed Scientists, said since the inception of WACCI’s PhD programmes, the Centre has admitted ninety-eight PhD students out of which 35 have so far graduated.  An additional 18 is expected to graduate in July 2017. He said the completion of the multi-purpose building will scale up the Centre’s PhD programme in Plant Breeding and MPhil in Seed Science and Technology.

Prof. Danquah stressed that the multi-purpose building is integral to WACCI’s dream of using the ACE project as a springboard for transforming the Centre into a sustainable Centre of Excellence for training quality plant breeders and seed scientists, adding that when completed, the facility will constitute Offices, Seed Science Lab, Ultramodern classrooms, Tissue Culture Lab, Conference rooms and a Bioinformatics Lab.

Prof. Danquah further noted that in tandem with the University’s goal of becoming a research-intensive institution, a team of external panels led by Dr. Rita Morgan Mumm and the Cornell University will be working with the research units of the Centre to enhance their capacity. Prof. Danquah expressed gratitude to the Government of Ghana for approving the loan by World Bank.  He also expressed appreciation to other donors and partners of WACCI for their immerse contribution to the Centre.

 

Director of WACCI Professor Eric Y. Danquah

The representative of the Minister of Education, Professor Mohammed Salifu, and Executive Secretary of the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) commended the management of the University for being a part of the African Centre for Excellence (ACE) Project in which the University of Ghana has two centres out of the twenty-two centers across West and Central Africa.

 

Representative of the Minister of Education, Professor Mohammed Salifu

He was optimistic that WACCI would serve as a catalyst to boost research and graduate training as well as promote regional collaboration and integration.

 

Representative of the World Bank, Mrs. Eunice Akwerh

A representative of the World Bank Mrs. Eunice Akwerh said that the World Bank was pleased to partner WACCI and the University in the development of the ACE Project and hoped that the multi-purpose facility will facilitate successful academic and research activities.

 

Deputy Minister of Finance, Mrs. Mona Helen Quartey

The Deputy Minister of Finance Mrs. Mona Helen Quartey in her remarks said her Ministry was honoured to be part of the infrastructure of the ACE Project.  She said the project will help train graduates to support the agricultural sector which will improve productivity and income for farmers.  She was hopeful that the Project will be effectively maintained to serve its purpose during its lifecycle.

The event was attended by the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, Rev. Joyce Aryee, Reverend Samuel Otu-Pimpong, Senior Pastor of the Legon Baptist Church, University officials, and students.

 

Rev. Joyce Aryee

 

A group picture with UG senior members and other dignitaries