Official Launch Of Pathways To Equitable Healthy Cities Project At The University Of Ghana

A group photograph of officials at the project launch

The University of Ghana in partnership with Imperial College London and other leading universities in Bangladesh, Canada, United Kingdom and China have launched a project named “Pathways to Equitable Healthy Cities” at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana. The Project is funded by the Wellcome Trust with Imperial College London as the Lead Institution with the aim to identify and implement policy actions that will advance urban development, improve people’s health and reduce inequalities within cities.

Professor Samuel Agyei-Mensah, Provost of the College of Humanities, in a welcome address expressed appreciation to Wellcome Trust for supporting the partnership. According to him, the project’s goal of shaping urban development through innovative pathways to reduce health inequalities in cities, fits well into the University’s 70th anniversary theme of “Celebrating Excellence, Shaping Futures”. He was confident the partnership would create a world-leading research hub for intensive research into urban health that would positively impact policy and planning of urban health and development.

Professor Samuel Agyei-Mensah giving a welcome address

In performing the Official launch of the Project, Hon. Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Mayor of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and Chairman for the occasion, expressed appreciation for the opportunity to be chair and noted that the project was timely and his office would like to associate and support it. According to him, the project was apt and would guide them in building and promoting a smart, resilient and sustainable city, Accra.

Hon. Mohammed Adjei Sowah performing the Official launch of the Project

The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda, in a brief remark commended organizers for inviting him, saying the project was relevant to his ministry as it targeted issues relating to water, sanitation, health, environment, housing, transport and other issues that fits into the “smart city concept”.

He further disclosed that funding has been secured from the African Development Bank (ADB) for the Greater Accra Sustainable Sanitation Livelihoods Improvement Project (GA SSLIP) which is geared towards mitigating health risks of low income communities. Hon. Adda pledged his support and admonished all to join in realizing the objectives of the project.

The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda

Professor Majid Ezzati of the Imperial College London and Chair of the Wellcome Trust Center for Global Health noted that the project would focus on solutions to issues of equity in five (5) countries and four (4) continents with Ghana being the larger partner.  He added that the project will not be limited to the University but involve partners from other ministries and civil society groups in order to develop solutions that will get the expected results. He expressed hope that the project would be successful and serve as a reference for subsequent collaborations.

Professor Majid Ezzati of the Imperial College, London and Chair of the Wellcome Trust Center for Global Health

The Team representing University of Ghana consists of Prof. S. Agyei-Mensah, Department of Geography and Resource Development/Provost College of Humanities; Prof. George Owusu of the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research; and Dr. Ayaga Bawah of the Regional Institute for Population Studies. The other partnering institutions are University of British Columbia (Canada), Tsinghua University (China), and BRAC University (Bangladesh).