Collaboration with universities in Ghana – new arena for BTH

Delegation i Ghana

A delegation from BTH recently visited Ghana in West Africa. Niklas Lavesson, professor of software engineering at BTH, identifies several possibilities for collaboration regarding mechanical engineering, software engineering, and industrial economics and we will now lead the work to organise meetings between teachers and researchers from Ghana and Sweden.

The BTH delegation visited Pentecost University, a private University in the capital Accra, and University of Cape Coast, a public University in western Ghana.

“We engaged in interesting and productive meetings with the management of Pentecost University and with deans from several schools of the University of Cape Coast. We already have a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between BTH and Pentecost University”, says Niklas Lavesson.

Niklas Lavesson identifies several opportunities for future collaboration between BTH and the universities in Ghana.

“The African population is expected to increase to 2.5 billion in 2050, which would mean that every fourth person in the world would be African. During the last decade, digitaliSation and Internet use have increased significantly across the entire continent. Meanwhile, the amount of risk capital and the establishment of international business interests are increasing as well”.

“Africa needs to address serious challenges regarding security, health, and economic and social sustainability. These challenges must be addressed through global cooperation. At the same time, Europe is in dire need of qualified human capital in several areas, including the IT sector”.

The developments above provide a fertile ground for reciprocal collaborations between Africa and Europe. The new collaboration with Ghana also means that BTH is increasing its presence on the African continent, where collaboration agreements already exist between BTH and South Africa and Namibia.

“It is attractive for BTH to establish international partnerships in which we can collaborate regarding both education and research to address global societal challenges, in close cooperation with industry and society. The innovation eco system of Ghana is growing quickly and it will be exciting for us to concretiSe collaboration opportunities moving forward”, says Andreas Larsson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Strategic Partnerships at BTH.

Niklas Lavesson and Kayode Adekunle from the BTH Ghana-delegation also conducted interviews with national radio and TV outlets in Ghana and gave talks about software development, programming, and the need of IT skills at the Ghana 2023 Global STEM and Computing Education Summit, held in Accra on August 24-26. The conference was organised by Bountiful Technologies in collaboration with Pentecost University.

“Many African societal challenges require practical solutions, specially adapted to the African context. University education in Africa is usually more theoretical than the Swedish counterpart. There is arguably a gap between the knowledge gained from traditional education programmes and the competence needs of African society. I advocate systematic change of the African education programmes so that they can better provide students with the skills that enable them to take on real challenges and to quickly enter the job market. Today, there is too much focus on formal degrees”, says Kayode Adekunle, research advisor at BTH.

25 September 2023

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