University of Ghana Launches Third Phase of African Universities – Connecting Accra Project

The Office of Research Innovation and Development (ORID) has launched the third phase of the Innovation of African Universities (IAU) – Connecting Accra project.

The project is an initiative funded by the British Council and is part of the Going Global Partnerships programme. The central aim of the project is to foster a culture of entrepreneurship in African university and encourage innovative ideas of students to be developed into viable ventures.

                             A group photo after the launch 

The partnership consists of UG, Impact Hub, Accra, and Imperial College London, and creates platforms to building national ecosystems capacity to innovate and support students in higher education.

Other stakeholders brought on board for the third phase of the project include the University of Cape Coast (UCC and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). The launch of the third phase took place on, on Friday 17th March 2023 at ORID/UG.

Ahead of the launch two start-up ventures; Salon Jet and Fihankra, beneficiaries of the IAU-Connecting Accra project (phase 1 and 2) delivered presentations on innovative concepts which had been developed into commercial applications.

Launching the third phase on behalf UG, Prof. Felix Ankomah Asante the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development stated that the programme had been instrumental in transforming the youth entrepreneurship sector by fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. He noted that the third phase of the programme was critical to consolidating the gains of phases one and two to develop a sustainable entrepreneurship landscape supported bat local level. He underscored the University of Ghana’s commitment to supporting the drive towards scaling up the project in order to derive commercial benefits for development.

The event brought to a formal close the first two phases of project which ended in July 2022.

Prof. Felix Ankomah Asante, Pro-Vice-Chancellor - Research, Innovation and Development

Prof. Asante extended a formal invitation to UCC and KNUST to join the project and bring their unique experience to enhance the aims and objectives of the IAU project.

The Director of the UCC Design, Thinking and Innovation Hub, Dr Keren Naa Abeka Arthur, in an acceptance speech read on her behalf, noted that as the latest entrant on the project, the university saw the partnership as an opportunity to co-create entrepreneurship support systems for the Ghanaian society.

Other project partners delivered solidarity messages and welcomed the inclusion of UCC and KNUST to the project.

The Project Manager for Higher Education of the British Council, Akorfa Dawson, commended UG for extending the partnership to other universities, and for its commitment to sustaining the project into the future.

She indicated that Ghana has been selected to host the regional showcase event of the IAU project on March 24, 2023 with participants from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.  

              Akorfa Dawson, Project Manager for Higher Education - British Council

Dr George Acheampong, Coordinator of the UGBS Innovation and Incubation Hub and collaborators for phase 1 & 2, expressed their readiness for the third phase of the project.

Officials present at the launch include Prof. Justice Bawole, Dean UGBS, Prof. Irene Egyir, Dean School of Agriculture, Prof. Samuel Adjei-Mensah, Mrs. Cynthia Adu, Prof. Jimin Wang, (Chinese Director), and Prof. Josephine Dzahene-Quarshie (Ghanaian Director), Confucius Institute, UG,Eunice Amoako Mensah (UCC), Mark Akoto (UCC) and Kelechi Ofoegbu (Impact Hub), Sarah Ranchev-Hale and Ben Mumby-croft from Imperial College, London who joined the launch virtually.