GTEC and AAU visit WACWISA on Monitoring and Management

On 5th May, 2021 officials of the Association of African Universities (AAU) and the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) paid a working visit to the West African Centre for Water, Irrigation and Sustainable Agriculture (WACWISA) at the University for Development Studies (UDS). The visiting team was led by the Director General of Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), Professor Mohammed Salifu. The GTEC team included Dr. Ahmed Jinapor, Deputy Director General, Mr. Edmund Aalandong, Senior Planning Officer, Dr. Lawrence Kwarteng Ashia, Head of Public Relations. The AAU team also included Dr. Sylvia Mkandawire, Programme Manager, Dr. Adeline Addy-Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Ms. Gabriella Hanson, Head of Logistics, Mr. Frank Adjei, Finance Officer, and Mr Schneider Ankonah, Monitoring and Evaluation Analysis.

On arrival, the team paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor of UDS, Prof. Gabriel Ayum Teye and also briefed him of the planned activities of their visit to WACWISA-UDS. Key activities of the working visit included meeting with the Core Management Team of WACWISA on project update-Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs), visit to WACWISA offices and facilities and the construction of 3 storey WACWISA office laboratory complex, interaction with students and a field visit to industry partner. 

The Director of WACWISA and Pro-Vice Chancellor of UDS, Prof. Felix K. Abagale led the project update on DLIs presentation. The DLIs presented included faculty activities, student enrolment, faculty and student internship, Covid19 interventions, successes and challenges of implementation. The Director revealed that forty-eight (48) students pursuing Masters in Philosophy (MPhil) Degree and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees (PhD) with WACWISA are from thirteen (13) African Countries. During the presentation, it was noted that substantial progress has been made regarding the achievement of the DLIs.

Prof. Felix K. Abagale stated that after a successful event of the second edition of the International Conference on Irrigation and AgriculturalDevelopment (IRAD2020), the Centre is looking forward for an improved collaboration and delivery of its 3rd IRAD conference in Ghana slated for 2022. On Covid19 and other challenges, the Director revealed that the Centre utilised opportunities of virtual learning and adhering to safety protocols by students, faculty and staff in sustaining academic activities. Also, some staff and faculty have also participated in some capacity development training and workshops aimed at improving relevant skills. He concluded by revealing that, the Centre is resolute in achieving DLIs as captured in the Implementation Plan.

Prof. Mohammed Salifu, expressed his appreciation about efforts being made for the sustainability of the programme beyond the World Bank grant and tasked the team to keep exploring relevant system and opportunities for more funding. Dr. Sylvia Mkandawire on her part commended the centre’s achievement in most of it DLIs and reiterated AAU’s commitment to support faculty and staff of WACWISA in capacity building activities to further enhance their delivery on the programme. 

The team was taken on a tour of WACWISA facilities and the on-going construction of the 3 storey office and laboratory complex at the UDS Nyankpala Campus. Professor Mohammed Salifu entreated the contractor to complete the project before schedule while ensuring the highest standards in the project execution. They later held a closed-door interaction with WACWISA scholarship students to obtain first-hand information on their welfare and academic activities relating to their progress and performance on the programme. The team’s mission ended with a visit to Hikma farms, an industry partner of WACWISA.

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