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The government has set aside GH¢2.3 million for infrastructural development at the Medical School of the University for Development Studies, the Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has said.

He explained that GH¢1 million out of the amount had been earmarked for the expansion of infrastructure on the university campus, while GH¢1,280,000 would be used for the procurement of laboratory equipment and other development projects.

Mr Mahama made this known at the 12th congregation of the university in Tamale Saturday.

Two thousand one hundred and forty-one students graduated with doctorate, Master of Science and Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Endogenous Development, Development Management, Innovation Communication, Mathematics, Applied Statistics, among other courses.

For the first time, four students obtained doctorate degrees, while eight of the bachelor’s degrees were in the First Class.

The law establishing the UDS, PNDC Law 279, which was promulgated in May 1992, assigned the university a unique role in higher education in Ghana. It gives the UDS a unique opportunity to offer contribution towards the economic and social advancement of the country.

Mr Mahama said besides the vote, the government had also earmarked GH¢2.5 million from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to expand infrastructure on all the campuses of the university.

He said the government had embarked on a comprehensive programme to make the university the hub of research.

The Vice-President said the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) had also earmarked GH¢5 million to support research and development at the UDS.

He said SADA was expected to co-ordinate the process of strategic planning mobilisation of investment towards promoting sustainable development in Ghana’s northern savannah zone, while it also sought to double incomes and reduce poverty in that zone.

He, therefore, expressed satisfaction that the UDS had engaged itself with SADA and a firm partnership was evolving in which the students and the faculty of the UDS could be instrumental in pioneering research and development efforts aimed at empowering the poor to be leaders and agents in their own development.

“In furtherance of this partnership, the government has been instrumental in facilitating links with the University of Louisville, Kentucky, and recently, through the relentless efforts of the Minister of Education, another flagship partnership with UDS is emerging with the University of Winnipeg, Canada,” he said.

The Vice-President said in order to strengthen the UDS in research and development, the government, through SADA, had decided to support well-defined research activities that are relevant to SADA’s priorities and have a strong impact on the lives and livelihoods of rural people in the SADA area.

It would also support students and faculty in the third trimester community-based research process as an example and support the UDS to build basic research centres and the needed furnishing that gave priority to research.

“This centre, to be known as the SADA Centre, will house the Centre for Inter-disciplinary Research and allied departments that are co-ordinating research and development,” he said.

Mr Mahama gave the assurance that the government would continue to commit resources into the development of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, which now serves as the clinical training ground for the UDS Medical School.

“The government is currently studying financing proposals for phase II of rehabilitation and expansion of the hospital to make it a 600-bed hospital,” he said.

He commended the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Haruna Yakubu, for having a clear vision which corresponded with and amplified the focus and direction of the UDS.

The Vice-President urged the graduates to let the virtues and training that they had acquired from the university to reflect in their endeavours.

The Chairman of the UDS Council, Dr Abdulai B. Salifu, commended the government for releasing the first tranche of GH¢2 million from President John Evans Atta Mills’s GH¢20,000 endowment fund to the university and asked it to facilitate the release of the subsequent tranches.
Source: Musa Yahaya Jafaru/D.Graphic

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