UG and KOICA Sign Agreement for ICT-based Start-Ups and Asian Studies (GK-IMPACT) Worth $9 Million

Taking inspiration from the African Proverb that enjoins us to work and progress together, the University of Ghana has signed an agreement with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) for the establishment of a Ghana-Korea Centre of Excellence for mutually beneficial socio-economic projects.

This Centre termed Ghana-Korea ICT-Based Start-ups and Asian Research (GK-IMPACT), which aims to enhance understanding of Korea’s unique and inspiring growth in socio-economic development underpinned by cutting-edge technological advancements and innovation, also strategically entrenches the University of Ghana’s position as the hub for research and training on Asian studies for Africa. The signing of agreement by the two parties was facilitated by the Legal Counsel, Prof. Olivia Anku- Tsede. 

Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, acknowledged the efforts of former Korean Ambassadors, former University officials and the current leadership of the two institutions for nurturing the GK-IMPACT idea and the sustained efforts respectively. “We are excited to partner you in another giant stride on our efforts towards digitalisation,” Prof. Amfo stated. The Vice-Chancellor also urged both partners to work harmoniously to realise the objectives of the project.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo delivering an address

His Excellency Jung-Taek Lim, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Ghana, assured the Centre for Asian Studies of his outfit's support in the field of education, technology, cultural exchange, and other mutual socio-economic cooperative initiatives. 

In brief remarks, Mr. Moo Heon Kong, KOICA Country Director, indicated that the $9million GK-IMPACT will “build an advanced innovation centre that can share Korea’s advanced ICT and development experiences, while enhancing Ghana’s research and ICT capabilities to promote growth for both Korea and Ghana”.  

The Provost of the College of Humanities, Prof. Daniel Frimpong Ofori, was excited about the timeliness of the project since the University is encouraging students to become entrepreneurs. “The time is ripe and we’re ready to partner you to make sure this project is realised to the benefit of our students, the people of Ghana and the people of Korea as well”, said Prof. Ofori.  

Earlier, the Director of the Centre for Asian Studies, Dr. Lloyd Adu Amoah, presented the background to the project which commenced in 2018. According to him, the extensive surveys and consultations involving the University of Ghana, KOICA, Ministry of Education, and the Korean Embassy were to ensure that the details of the project were mutually acceptable and ultimately beneficial to both parties. 

To encourage the two institutions, Mr. Fiachra McAsey Deputy Country Representative, UNICEF Ghana, appealed to the parties to distinguish themselves in the execution of the MoU as they have done individually in previous engagements with UNICEF Ghana. He pledged his organisation’s support to the transformative GK-IMPACT project.

University officials present included Mrs. Elizier Taiba Ameyaw-Buronyah, Director, Public Affairs Directorate and Mrs. Ama Pinkrah Sowatey, Assistant Registrar, Office of Legal Counsel. 

The KOICA Ghana office and UNICEF representatives at the signing ceremony were Mr. Seungmin Oh, Senior Deputy Country Director; Mr. Yongtae Kim Project Manager, KOICA, and Mr. Joshua Yirenkyi, Program Officer-Education, KOICA Ghana.


A group photograph after the event