An international conference on how scientific research can be employed to reduce inequalities at all levels of society for sustainable development opened in Accra yesterday[October 13, 2022].
Christened “ the International Research Conference”, it is organised by the College of Humanities, University of Ghana. This year’s is the fifth edition and has brought together international and local researchers, students and private sector players to deliberate on reducing inequalities through research.
The three-day conference is being held on the theme: ” Perspectives on inequalities: Challenges and prospects for sustainable development before, during and after COVID-19.
A number of research papers will be presented at the various parallel sessions and they include “Children are also at risk: Communication inequality between adults and children in audio-visual advertisement about COVID-19; the challenges and inequalities faced by refugees in their search for economic and related opportunities in Ghana; migration inequalities among low level immigrants in Ghana, and inequalities in Ghana’s education system amid COVID-19: A myth or reality.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation and Development of the University of Ghana and Chairperson for the opening ceremony, Prof. Felix Ankomah Asante, said the theme for the conference was timely and relevant as it was in line with the university of Ghana’s mission to contribute to intellectual discourse on global issues.
The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened exiting inequalities and created new forms of inequality at different levels including globally, nationally, regionally and within households.
“It has also affected different spheres of life and here we are looking at political, economic and religion; and the domains of discourse here are gender, race and ethnicity. One can witness these disparities and inequalities globally in the access to and the distribution of vaccines to protect people from COVID-19.
“This conference seeks to address the myriad of ways in which research in the humanities can be focused on the challenges of addressing inequalities for sustainable development. I am pleased to see both local and international participants involved in the discussions.
“The University of Ghana, through the office of research, innovation and development is currently developing a University of Ghana research strategy with a vision to be an institution of choice for collaborative research and industry partnership.
He said in that strategy, the university hoped to review its current research areas, which included malaria, trans-disciplinary and climate change adaption; enhancing food production and processing.
The Provost, College of Humanities, Prof. Daniel Frimpong Ofori, said the International research conferences allowed the university to effectively deliver on its mandates as a research and training institution.
“It has exacerbated existing inequalities and created new forms of inequalities at different levels, spheres and domains of existence.
“These have in turn created challenges for sustainable development and the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said.
Prof. Ofori said with regard to how research in the Humanities could address those challenges, the conference provided a timely avenue for creative theorising, analysing and discussion of perspectives on inequalities from all disciplines that seek to address the global governance and developmental challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the college was home to a rich and diverse mix of academic disciplines spanning the arts, languages, business, law and the social sciences.
“Our programmes are grounded in a rigorous, broad-based multi-disciplinary curriculum that develops students’ knowledge, analytical abilities, research skills and creativity. In addition, the college offers professional programmes in Law and Business Administration, “he said.