University of Ghana Wins Award in a Consortium with Kenya, Malawi And UK Partners

University of Ghana is among a consortium of Universities in LMICs from Ghana, Malawi and Kenya and UK that have been awarded a grant from the UK Government through its Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Research Councils UK Collective Fund.  This will enable them tackle some of the most serious global challenges in a new multi-disciplinary research programme.

This grant forms part of an ambitious international research programmes ever created with a total sum of £225 Million invested across 37 interdisciplinary projects to address challenges in fields such as health, humanitarian crises, conflict, the environment, the economy, domestic violence, society, and technology. It aims to build upon research knowledge in the UK, and strengthen capacity overseas, to help address challenges, informed by expressed need in the developing countries.

Investigators from University of Ghana are partnering with their counterparts from Malawi and Kenya on a four (4) year multidisciplinary project worth £5.4 Million titled “Building Research Capacity for sustainable water and food security in drylands of sub-Saharan Africa (BRECcIA)”

Prof. Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe of the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS) and Dr. Mawuli Dzodzomenyo of the School of Public Health are Co-Investigators from the University of Ghana with Professor Justin Sheffield of the University of Southampton as the Principal Investigator on BRECcIA.

Relying on the rain to water crops is the reality for subsistence farmers across Africa – and these farmers are the mainstay of national economies. Rain is a fragile resource yet the availability of water underpins so much – including peace, health and prosperity. In this study, the researchers want to do more work to understand how to improve water and food security in their respective countries. This has been lacking mainly because of a lack of funding, research capacity and links to the international research community. BRECcIA therefore aims to connect scientists in these countries by linking them not just with UK researchers but also with each other, so that they can compare approaches across the three very different nations. The programme will target the weaknesses in the research pipeline and try to strengthen these areas; set in motion water and food research projects; and provide a route to commercialisation should new water technologies emerge.

Among the 36 other projects, some others that received similar funding from the GCRF across the globe included “Low cost technologies for safe drinking water in developing regions (SAFEWATER)”; “Research for health in conflict: developing capability, partnerships and research in the Middle and Near East (MENA)” and “Agricultural and Food-system Resilience: Increasing Capacity and Advising Policy”.