Ghana is pushing ahead with opening a university dedicated to the study of the environment and sustainable development. In other words, Ghana is pushing the frontiers of knowledge production and consumption in climate change, seen as the overarching new security threat in international security.
The import is that an initiative of this nature is on somewhere within the African continent, climate change being a transdisciplinary intellectual project as well as a practical challenge to everyone.
The idea of a university dedicated to the environment and sustainable development had already been announced by President Nana Akufo-Addo since August through a Facebook post viz:
“On Wednesday, August 5, 2020, I commissioned the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD). I also cut the sod for the commencement of construction of Phase Two of the University.
“The completion of UESD is yet another example of our nation’s commitment to providing quality education and skills training for our people,” he added.
What is interesting now to students and observers of African agency in international security is the reality of the university by October 2020. So also is the commencement of the construction of the university already at the city of Trom-Somanya.
The original story indicated courses on energy sustainability, environmental economics, climate change, environmental policy, and water resources development would constitute the areas on offer.
It goes on to mention how Ghana is known for its abundance of natural resources and the dependency of the country’s economy “on climate-sensitive sectors, such as agriculture and forestry”. Also mentioned is Ghana as a top exporter of oil, cocoa, and gold and how that connects it to environmental challenges such as mining-related pollution, illegal mining, and deforestation.
By associating the new university with providing what he calls ‘strategic leadership on environmental and sustainability issues’, President Akufo-Addo is obviously reckoning with a knowledge based approach to confronting manifest challenges of climate change such as coastal degradation, water and air pollution and waste management. It comes clear in his statement to the effect that:“Indeed, this is the first university in the country with the mandate to provide higher education, research and disseminate knowledge on matters of sustainable development, the protection of the environment, and a focus on developing agri-business.”