Accra, Ghana

University of Ghana
Accra, Ghana

The University of Ghana is the oldest and largest of the thirteen Ghanaian universities and tertiary institutions. It was founded in 1948 as the University College of the Gold Coast, and was originally an affiliate college of the University of London, which supervised its academic programmes and awarded degrees. It gained full university status in 1961, and now has nearly 40,000 students.The original emphasis was on the liberal arts, social science, basic science, agriculture, and medicine, but the curriculum was expanded to provide more technology-based and vocational courses and postgraduate training.The university is mainly based at Legon, about twelve kilometres northeast of the centre of Accra. The medical school is in Korle Bu, with a teaching hospital and secondary campus in the city of Accra. It also has a graduate school of nuclear and allied science at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, making it one of the few universities on the Africa continent offering programmes in nuclear physics and nuclear engineering. Wikipedia.

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A recent FAO study has found that more than 90 percent of street food vendors in Ghana are women. This finding is rooted in sociocultural norms, with low-income women and single mothers obliged to balance their traditional housekeeping duties with income-generating jobs. In Accra, Ghana’s capital, street food not only provides both an economic opportunity for women but also a way of improving livelihoods and urban food systems – Accra’s street food has been found to be both nutritious and safe, despite public perceptions. Now, building on local government support and training conducted over recent years, FAO is working to increase street food vendors’ knowledge to further improve nutrition and food safety for city-dwellers, while continuing to provide income-generating opportunities for women. A major 2016 FAO study has found that street food vending in Ghana is dominated by women. The extensive field survey reveals that of the estimated 8 000 to 10 000 street food vendors in Accra, Ghana’s capital, at least 90 percent are women. These women are predominantly between the ages of 25 and 45, and almost all of them rely on personal or family money to fund their enterprises. Street food vending is a time-consuming business – vendors generally work six days a week, 10 hours a day, not counting time spent buying and preparing ingredients. And those interviewed for the FAO survey have been working as street food vendors on average for eight years, suggesting that the sector is not only a temporary source of income but also a long-term employment option. Street food stories from Accra Twenty-seven year-old Comfort is a prime example of a contemporary Accra street food vendor. Despite having a degree, she struggled to find a job after university, and so, she says, “I chose to cook because it is my passion”. Comfort now wakes up at 5 a.m. every day, goes to the market to buy ingredients and opens her kiosk at 8 a.m. She sells a whole range of food but her favorite is cake. “What makes me happy is cooking and baking cakes!”, she laughs. To help her business, Comfort has even designed her own eye-catching brand and logo. Like any true entrepreneur, she knows that the image of her business is as important as the taste of her food. Thirty-two year-old Esther says the hardest part of her job is getting up at 2 a.m. The mother of two starts selling ready-to-eat fruits from her stall in Accra every morning at 5 a.m. Esther says she sells fruits because they “are healthy food and clients like them”. Wearing plastic bags on her hands as gloves, she first washes a sharp knife with water gushing from a polyethylene bag (known in Ghana as “pure water”). Then, holding a clump of leaves, she takes a pineapple and peels it before cutting it into small pieces that fall into a container. Cubes of mango, banana, watermelon and apple duly follow, before Esther finally closes and secures the container, ready to hand it over to a customer with a thank you and a smile. Hamida’s menu focuses on local dishes: banku, jollof rice, tuo zafi, wakey, beef stew with eggs, shito, fried chicken and fish. The 32 year-old prepares all her food at home before bringing it to her stall in shiny pans and coolers and dishing it out into small plates with recyclable cutlery. When she is not serving, she sits and talks to customers at plastic tables while nursing her baby. Then at 2 p.m., her sister takes over, and Hamida leaves with her baby wrapped in a shawl tied to her back, followed by her two older children. Women’s business The stories of Comfort, Esther, and Hamida are commonplace across Africa, where the selling of street food has proliferated in the last 35 years, mainly due to urbanization and its effects. On the one hand, increased commuting distances and fast urban living have driven demand for easily accessible ready-to-eat and cheap food among African urban dwellers. On the other hand, the labour market has become more competitive, meaning marginalized social groups such as women and ethnic minorities struggle to find jobs because of lack of education and professional skills. For these people, self-employment often becomes the only way to earn a living. As street food vending requires little start-up capital and no formal education, it represents an ideal opportunity for women. With their cooking skills and kitchen utensils and the help of unpaid family members – in particular young daughters and sisters – it is one of the easiest ways for them to be self-employed. And this is the main reason why women dominate the street food vending business in most of Africa, apart from in countries where women’s economic activities are restricted. Nutritious and safe street food The FAO study in Accra has highlighted how street food vendors tend to operate in poorer areas of the city and near schools, meaning many poor children rely on them for nutrition. Thankfully, the overall hygiene and safety conditions under which street food is prepared in Accra have proven to be of an acceptable standard. This is despite street food vendors not being subject to food controls by public authorities. Regardless, vendors have shown a real improvement in knowledge of hygiene, safety standards, food handling, and storage in recent years. Factors contributing to the improvement include rising levels of education and increased collaboration between local authorities and FAO. In 2012-13, FAO teamed up with the Ghana Food and Drug Authority to conduct successful capacity building sessions on handling and storage for selected food vendors. These sessions dealt with challenges such as poor infrastructure and lack of fresh water. More recently, in 2016, FAO trained 14 research assistants from the School of Public Health of the University of Ghana in “Mobile-Based Data Collection for Monitoring Street Food Vending in Urban Areas”. This training laid a great foundation in digital data collection techniques and methodology for Ghana’s future national food inspectors. Finally, on the back of awareness campaigns targeting the general public, Ghana’s consumers have also become more knowledgeable and demanding, forcing vendors to adopt improved practices and higher hygiene standards to satisfy ever greater public scrutiny.

News Article | May 16, 2017

eZ-Xpo, the global leader in All-in-1 Virtual Collaborative Network Solution, today announced JobExpo365 is powering the first national virtual workforce and job fair dedicated to women in Ghana. The Virtual Job Fair will start immediately in conjunction with the physical event on July 24th, 2017: SOSJobs4Women Summit and Job Fair in Ghana. SOSJobs4women National Virtual Job fair is an initiative of the Nekotech Center Royal Academy for Peace and Development in partnership with eZ-Xpo USA and the Ghana Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and in collaboration with the Diasporan Relations Office of the Office of the President of Ghana, the AU Diasporan African Forum, Ladies of the Cross, Transform Ghana Project, Skill2Scale of the University of Canada, Transfer2Transform Canada, and the SOS Level Changers of the University of Ghana — all joining hands for jobs for all Ghanaian women everywhere. The JobExpo365’s Virtual Job Fair will empower employers and recruiting managers to connect job-seekers to: "We are pleased to partner with the multiple awards-winning Nekotech Center Royal Academy for Peace and Development's initiative — sosjobs4women Ghana — and other stakeholders, to prioritize job placement for all Ghanaian women everywhere by employing this innovative virtual job fair," said the Summit Host, Hon. Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, MP, and the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations. "Ghanaian diasporans contribute over $3 billion annually to the economy. This virtual job fair will enable Ghanaian diasporan women overseas an invaluable opportunity to find decent jobs in Ghana while considering to come back to Ghana without taking expensive trips home to search. In addition, providing Ghanaians with decent job opportunities overseas will enable us to increase remittances beyond the current $3 billion. I see this as a breakthrough for diasporans and Ghana," said Mr. Akwasi Awuah Ababio, Director for the Diasporan Relations Office, at the Office of the President of Ghana. "The AU Diasporan African Forum (AU DAF) is uniquely interested in making sure we secure the best candidates for each position by providing soft skills training, which will make the women — both national and diasporan — more employable and to encourage them to perform as ideal workers for their future employers," said HE Ambassador Dr Erieka Bennett, Head of Mission and training partner for sosjobs4women Ghana. “We are excited to partner with eZ-Xpo and JobExpo365 to deliver this game-changing solution to solve Ghana's unemployment and recruiting challenges, especially in recruiting qualified women. Now, these women can connect to hiring managers worldwide virtually on-demand and live 24/7 in a virtual workforce network ecosystem. Job seekers can get a fast start to engage and collaborate with all potential employers globally via the Virtual Job Fair,” said Her Excellency Rev. Dr. Ocansey, Founder of SOSJobs4Women. “We are excited to partner with HE Rev Dr Ocansey at SOSJobs4Women to host the first national Virtual Workforce and Job Fair at Ghana where we connect all qualified candidates and recruiting managers virtually 24/7 worldwide.  JobExpo365’s Virtual Job Fair Network offers both Job-seeker and employers a virtual booth to showcase their accomplishments and opportunities respectively. It also breaks down all barriers and opens unlimited opportunities to all qualified talents and companies with virtual training and virtual showcase in a virtual booth," said Matt Fok, CEO of eZ-XPO. To register for the SOSJobs4Women Summit and Virtual Job Fair, please go to: For more detailed information regarding the Virtual Job Fair, please contact Matt Fok at or Kevin at

The Regional Maritime University (RMU) has chosen REDAVIA, a global market leader of cost-effective rental solar power for businesses and communities, to implement a state-of-the-art solution supplementing the existing power grid and reducing the dependency on diesel generators. This win marks a major milestone for REDAVIA entering Ghana as the first of its West African markets. The seven year contract consists of five containers to be manufactured and commissioned by REDAVIA within the next few months. Each container will deliver 87 kWp and comes as a pre-configured, pre-assembled and fully operational solar farm in an easy to deploy ground-mounted, tent-shaped structure. It will connect into the existing energy infrastructure that currently consists of the national grid and supporting diesel generators. “We have been dependent on diesel generators to supplement an on-grid connection for our campus and this has doubled the cost of electricity tariffs, putting significant strain on our utility budget,” said Prof. Elvis K. Nyarko, Vice Chancellor of RMU. “We have now turned to REDAVIA rental solar power to help reduce the cost of the electricity tariffs and provide the best possible university setting for our students at an affordable cost.” Thanks to REDAVIA solar power RMU is expected to experience significant overall reductions in energy consumption and cost, whilst achieving efficiency gains throughout. The cost for REDAVIA solar power are transparent and affordable, eschewing upfront investment and just basing cost on a monthly rental fee. Once expanded with on-site energy storage, the solar farm will eliminate power grid outages that are currently impacting the University’s operations on a regular basis. In addition, the solar farm also leads to a notable reduction in carbon emissions from a lower consumption of grid power and on-site diesel power. Last but not least, additional cost benefits will stem from net-metering where the solar farm is feeding the electricity surplus back into the national grid. Over and beyond the solar farm implementation, REDAVIA will also support the introduction and establishment of a new educational track around renewable energy, by setting up a Renewable Energy Institute in collaboration with the RMU in Ghana. REDAVIA’s involvement will see ongoing knowledge transfer and staff support to help build the curriculum and practice lab with the aim to educate and prepare African students for engineering jobs in this sector, ensuring an ongoing sustainable development in Ghana. “REDAVIA’s decision to enter the Ghanaian market is based on an ambitious strategy and vision of long-term involvement in the country with the aim to open a local office, hire a local team and transfer German knowledge and technology to Ghana,” said Erwin Spolders, CEO at REDAVIA. Following the initial deployment, the RMU is planning to add energy storage and additional solar containers to their energy mix - now easily scalable - with the aim to become fully grid-independent in the not so distant future. Also, RMU will use the solar farm as a best practice example for other organizations, both within Ghana and within the global World Maritime University structure. The Regional Maritime University (RMU) is an international tertiary institution in Accra, Ghana owned by the Republics of Cameroon, The Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia. She attained full university status in October 2007 and was launched as such by John Agyekum Kuffour, former President of the Republic of Ghana. The overall objective for its establishment was to promote regional cooperation in the maritime industry focusing on the training to ensure the sustained growth and development of this industry. The RMU is a branch of the World Maritime University, Malmö, Sweden and an affiliate of the University of Ghana in Legon. Find out more on REDAVIA offers rental solar power for businesses and communities – with a regional focus on East and West Africa. The REDAVIA system is based on a pre-configured container model, including high-performance solar modules and high-quality electrical components. It is easy to ship, set up, scale and redeploy. Businesses and communities benefit from a cost-effective clean energy solution without the need for upfront investment or technical skills, supporting the reduction of carbon emissions and increasing the impact on a sustainable society. Find out more on

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-21-2016 | Award Amount: 7.69M | Year: 2017

The new challenge in global health is to achieve Universal Health Care (UHC) by 2030. Having an adequate workforce is critical to achieving UHC. Efforts are in place to scale up the numbers of health workers. Improving health workforce performance is equally important as the quantity of health workers, but more challenging. Workforce performance improvement can be achieved better at management levels close to front-line workers. The PERFORM project developed a problem-based management strengthening intervention for management teams at district level in three African countries to improve both health workforce performance and service delivery more generally. The evaluation of the management strengthening intervention (MSI) demonstrated its effectiveness in enabling the management teams to solve workforce performance and other problems locally which improved service delivery, and become better managers. To have a wider impact and thus contribute to the achievement of UHC the PERFORM management strengthening intervention needs to be scaled up and embedded. The aim of PERFORM2scale is to develop and evaluate a sustainable approach to scaling up a district level management strengthening intervention in different and changing contexts. A framework and strategy for scaling up the intervention will be developed with government agencies in Ghana, Malawi and Uganda each country. Capacity will be developed to implement the scale-up which will be carried out over three years in order to use the MSI at scale and embed the process at district level. The scale-up framework and strategy will be subjected to process evaluation (to identify opportunities and barriers) and outcome evaluation. Both the framework and strategy will be validated for use in the study countries and elsewhere for use and adaptation. The use of the management strengthening intervention at scale in countries will be a major contribution to achieving UHC.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INT-04-2015 | Award Amount: 3.72M | Year: 2016

This Project aims to address an increasingly pressing global challenge: How to achieve the EUs development goals and the UNs Sustainable Development Goals, while meeting the global target of staying within two degrees global warming and avoid transgressing other planetary boundaries. EU policies must align with sustainable development goals (Article 11 TFEU). The impacts of climate change and global loss of natural habitat undermine the progress achieved by pursuing the Millennium Development Goals and threaten the realisation of EU development policy goals. Our focus is the role of EUs public and private market actors. They have a high level of interaction with actors in emerging and developing economies, and are therefore crucial to achieving the EUs development goals. However, science does not yet cater for insights in how the regulatory environment influences their decision-making, nor in how we can stimulate them to make development-friendly, environmentally and socially sustainable decisions. Comprehensive, ground-breaking research is necessary into the regulatory complexity in which EU private and public market actors operate, in particular concerning their interactions with private and public actors in developing countries. Our Consortium, leading experts in law, economics, and applied environmental and social science, is able to analyse this regulatory complexity in a transdisciplinary and comprehensive perspective, both on an overarching level and in depth, in the form of specific product life-cycles: ready-made garments and mobile phones. We bring significant new evidence-based insights into the factors that enable or hinder coherence in EU development policy; we will advance the understanding of how development concerns can be successfully integrated in non-development policies and regulations concerning market actors; and we provide tools for improved PCD impact assessment as well as for better corporate sustainability assessment.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-AG | Phase: ERC-AG-ID1 | Award Amount: 2.95M | Year: 2012

An effective malaria vaccine is needed, particularly against P. falciparum as this species causes more human mortality than all other eukaryotic pathogens combined. An understanding of natural selection operating on parasites in local endemic populations can enable understanding of core molecular mechanisms of global relevance. The objectives are to - Advance understanding of alternative pathways of erythrocyte invasion by malaria parasites - Advance understanding of immune evasion by malaria parasites - Identify optimal combinations of parasite proteins as malaria vaccine candidates - Develop the interface between population genomic and functional studies of malaria parasites The research programme will take an integrated approach to understanding pathogen adaptation, by designing experiments that are based on analysis at the molecular, functional, and population levels. (i) Population genetic analyses of P. falciparum in sites of contrasting endemicity in West Africa, to finely determine signatures of selection with high-resolution throughout the genome, and help refine hypotheses on mechanisms used by merozoites to invade erythrocytes and evade acquired immune responses. (ii) Experimental culture analysis of merozoite invasion into erythrocytes to identify the receptor-ligand interactions used by different parasite populations ex vivo. Novel receptor knockdown assays on cultured erythrocytes will be employed, and parasite adaptation experiments conducted to identify constraints on the use of alternative invasion pathways (iii) Innovative approaches to select individual parasites and characterise cell tropism, transcript profiles, and genome sequences. This is aimed to validate population level findings and revolutionise approaches to genetics and phenotyping of parasites in the future. Candidate molecule discoveries will be taken forwards to receptor-ligand interaction assays, antibody inhibition and immuno-epidemiological studies.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.4.3-4 | Award Amount: 3.85M | Year: 2012

Migration from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to Europe is increasing. The limited evidence suggests that the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and obesity among SSA migrants is higher than among their SSA peers living in Africa and European host populations. The reasons for these observations are only poorly understood, but may involve migration-related changes in lifestyle, genetic predisposition as well as peculiarities in perceptions and practises. Contrasting the increasing number of African migrants in Europe, the health status and needs of these populations remain largely unexamined, and have only insufficiently been integrated into national plans, policies and strategies. Implementation of tailored intervention programmes among migrants implicitly requires the identification and the disentanglement of environmental, lifestyle and genetic factors modifying T2D and obesity risk. The RODAM project addresses these fundamental health issues among a homogeneous, and one of the largest SSA migrant groups in Europe (i.e. Ghanaians). RODAM thus aims to contribute to the understanding of the complex interplay between environment, lifestyle, (epi)genetic as well as social factors in T2D and obesity among SSA immigrants, and to identify specific risk factors to guide intervention and prevention and to provide a basis for improving diagnosis and treatment. In a multi-centre study, 6,250 Ghanaians aged >25 years will be recruited in rural and urban Ghana, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. The differences in prevalence rates within Ghana on the one hand, and three European countries on the other, will allow us to unravel environmental, lifestyle and (epi)genetic as well as social factors in relation to T2D and obesity. The proposed study will generate relevant results that will ultimately guide intervention programmes and will provide a basis for improving diagnosis and treatment among SSA migrants in Europe as well as in their counterparts in Africa and beyond.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: SSH.2011.4.1-2 | Award Amount: 3.50M | Year: 2012

The overall objective of the African Rural-City Connections (RurbanAfrica) project is to explore the connections between rural transformations, mobility, and urbanization processes and analyze how these contribute to an understanding of the scale, nature and location of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. The RurbanAfrica project will advance the research agenda on rural-city connections in sub-Saharan Africa by addressing a range of crucial components: agricultural transformations, rural livelihoods, city dynamics, and access to services in cities. In this respect the project will challenge a number of generally accepted truths about rural and city development, and the importance and implication of migration in shaping these. It will thereby question the overall negative interpretations of the economic role of rural-urban mobility and migration in sub-Saharan Africa and generate new insights into the relationship between rural-city connections and poverty dynamics. The project will include nine partners; four European, one international, and four sub-Saharan African. RurbanAfrica focuses on four country cases: Rwanda, Tanzania, Cameroon and Ghana and examine in-depth two rural-city connections in each of the case countries. Research is organized into six work packages: Agricultural transformation, rural livelihoods, city dynamics, access to services, knowledge platform and policy dialogue, and synthesis, dissemination and management. Central to the approach is the on-going integration of policy research, policy dialogue, knowledge sharing and empirical research. Through ongoing collaboration between senior and junior researchers from European and sub-Saharan African partners, and co-supervising of PhD students, the project will contribute to capacity building and potentially impact curriculum development. The research and dissemination process will be supported by a scientific advisory board, with members from European and sub-Saharan African research institutions.

Tokyo Medical, Dental University, Center For Scientific Research Into Plant Medicine, University of Ghana and Nagasaki International University | Date: 2014-01-07

The present invention provides anti-trypanosomal agent for treating, preventing Trypanosomiasis of mammals, which comprises a compound having the tetracyclic iridoid skeleton represented by a general formula (I).

Amanor K.S.,University of Ghana
Journal of Peasant Studies | Year: 2012

This paper places land grabbing within the context of developments within agribusiness within the last 30 years, tracing the various trajectories of increasing competition and concentration and pressures on commodity prices that have resulted in increasing dispossession of smallholders and a move in some agri-food chains towards large estate production. The paper explores the ways in which contemporary agricultural policies and neoliberal market reforms reflect these developments and examines recent framing of land policies in Africa in the context of the development of agrarian capital and agribusiness. Competitiveness results in dispossession of less successful smallholders from below by commercial smallholders, and from above by large estates vertically integrated into agribusiness marketing chains. This is illustrated with examples from the cocoa sector in Côte d'Ivoire and pineapples in Ghana. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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