Delegation from Master Card Foundation Visits University of Ghana

The Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic and Student Affairs, Prof Gordon Awandare on Tuesday August 9, 2022 received a four-member delegation from Mastercard Foundation led by Ms. Ashley Collier, Head of Partnerships. The visit was to discuss a collaboration with Climate Scientists of the University of Ghana on Climate Research and Capacity Building initiative.

The Pro Vice-Chancellor (ASA), Prof. Gordon Awandare extended his warm welcome to the team and noted that there were other engagements with Mastercard including the Device and Connectivity initiative. While referring to previous interactions with the Team on the Climate Research and Capacity Building initiative, he added that the University was delighted to build a longstanding partnership with Mastercard Foundation on other initiatives.

Ms Ashey Collier mentioned that their entire project aimed at assessing the role of Higher Education in addressing challenges related to climate change, disability, agriculture, nutrition and healthcare. However, the collaboration with the University of Ghana as well as the University of Cape Town (South Africa), Makerere University (Uganda) and Cambridge University (UK) was geared towards bringing together expertise in the area of climate change from these universities to address issues related specifically to climate change.

In response, the Prof. Awandare stated that the University had Climate Scientists with research interests in various areas of climate change, who were in readiness to participate in the project. He then led the delegation to an interaction with the team of Scientists at the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies, University of Ghana.


                                     The Mastercard Foundation team with the Pro VC (ASA), Prof. Awandare.

Addressing the UG team, Ms. Collier noted that the initiative would be three main pillars i.e.

  Scholarship Programme

- Granting young people access to degree programmes that address issues of climate change.

- Mentorship and programmes to transition them into entrepreneurship

Working relationship with Centres of Excellence in Climate Change

- Funding and research opportunities to develop new programmes, enhance and equip researchers as well as the Centres

- Exploring the gaps in the study of climate change and bridging them

Ensuring the work of the University impacts communities

- Building and strengthening networks with communities

- Conducting research to influence policy and society

- Dissemination of research findings to the public

 The Climate Scientists shared their areas of expertise and possible ways to contribute to the success of the initiative.

Prof. Awandare in his closing remarks reiterated that there was a broad range of expertise within the University therefore he hoped that the initiative will harness the diversity of the expertise towards training and capacity building.


                                A group photo at Centre for Climate Change & Sustainability Studies

The delegation also paid a courtesy call on the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo. Prof. Amfo in brief remarks stated that the University has engaged in Climate Change research over a long period in a cross-disciplinary way. She added that there were sufficient resources and potentials in the University which she believed will be harnessed to engage with the resources that Mastercard will be bringing on board.

Prof. Amfo expressed her excitement about the potential collaborations with Mastercard Foundation while warmly welcoming the delegation. She pledged her support and that of her team towards a lasting collaboration with the Foundation.

The Mastercard Team indicated their willingness to support the vision of the Vice-Chancellor.


                         Mastercard Team with Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo (third from left) and Prof. Awandare

The visit was climaxed with an interaction with a team from the Nutrition Faculty of the School of Public Health. Prof. Richmond Aryeetey hosted and lead the team in meeting with the delegation from Mastercard Foundation.

The discussion started with all the University of Ghana faculty presenting brief information on their current work (research, extension) that is relevant to the current project (Nkabom Nutrition and Sustainable Agri-food Collaborative) that Mastercard Foundation is discussing with University of Ghana faculty.

Prof Aryeetey outlined previous integrated Nutrition-Agriculture research implemented In the Upper Manya Krobo District through the Nutrition Research and Training Centre (NRTC) that engaged multiple community actors (government, private sector, etc) as well as current work including a fellowship program for PhDs and early career on health equity. He also referenced policy-relevant work he and other faculty members are working on, including Food-Based Dietary Guidelines, and Nutrient Profiling., Dr Christian is also currently work at Asesewa to develop and test tools for engaging coorperatives of women smallholder agribusiness owners.

Dr Dake is working with communities to improve their diets and opportunities for physical activity. Dr Intiful is involved in a collaborative that is seeking to test interventions that improve access to nutrition information. Naa Nyakoa also described her work as a dietician at the Asesewa Hospital as well coordinating internships for local and international students visiting and staying at the center.


                A group photo with the team from the School of Public Health

Prof. Ana Lartey spoke about the need for this collaborative to focus on engendering entrepreneurship capacities and target youth who are likely to exit Ghana for greener pastures elsewhere. She referenced the need to support young entrepreneurs who are already excelling who need to be supported.

The Mastercard Foundation team provided a brief overview of what Mastercard foundation is looking for, that is to partner with University of Ghana and other Universities in Ghana in a win-win situation to go beyond traditional means of capacity building to improve the lives and livelihood of youth in Ghana. They wanted to know what the University of Ghana team’s long-term vision is as well as what change is anticipated. This resulted in a discussion that crystallized around aiming for bold outcomes around transformative training, tangible results such as local processing of agricultural output, establishing incubators to grow innovative ideas, etc.