News Release: University of Ghana Wins Grant to Establish the Maria Sybilla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa
News Release: University of Ghana Wins Grant; The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) has recently selected for support, a consortium proposal to establish an Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Ghana (UG). The selected proposal is a partnership between the University of Ghana and a consortium of German Universities led by the University of Freiburg. The Institute will be for the fourth such Merian Center worldwide (the other three are in New Delhi, India, Guadalajara, Mexico and São Paulo, Brazil) founded through the BMBF programme in the last two years.
Professors Francis Dodoo, Pro-Vice Chancellor (RID) and Dzodzi Tsikata (Director, Institute of African Studies) led the UG effort, and defended the proposal on UG’s behalf at the German Ministry in September, in a team with three German colleagues. The UG consortium outcompeted a number of other consortia headlined by some of Africa’s top universities, including two from South Africa, one from Rwanda, and one from Cameroon.
The Merian Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Ghana will initially engage with the theme of “Sustainable Governance,” and specifically democracy building, conflict management, and the interconnection between environmental factors, natural resources and societal development. All things being equal, over the next 12 years, the cumulative grant is expected to be in the neighbourhood of about €19 million.
The award was sealed in December 2017 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Ghana (represented by Professor Dodoo) and the German Ministry of Education through the Freiburg University (represented by Professor Andreas Mehler, Director of the Arnold-Bergstraesser Institute), witnessed by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, His Excellency Dr. Frank Walter Steinmeier and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu.
The signing of this MoU marked a notable landmark in the partnership between Ghanaian and German scholars to create a centre that bridges the knowledge divide between Africa and the world.