As part of its project implementation activities, the Africa Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience (ACECoR) held its mid-year review workshop at the University of Cape Coast from 21-25 June 2021. The workshop drew more than 60 stakeholders from academia and industry to discuss the progress of work and re-align its activities. Also in attendance were members of the International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB) and Sectorial Advisory Board (SAB), as well as representatives from the Association of African Universities (AAU). The guests paid a courtesy call on the management of the University of Cape Coast as part of the programme. In his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Johnson Nyarko Boampong, emphasized the critical role of the Centre for Coastal Management through the ACECoR project in contributing to the sustainable management of Ghana's coastal environment and resources. He noted that aside from developing human resources for the sub-region, the Centre has become a significant player in Ghana's fisheries and coastal policy arena.
The Chair of ISAB, Prof. Rashid Sumaila, stressed the need for the University to support the work of the Centre given its role in addressing coastal and marine issues, which, according to him, plays a pivotal role in human survival. In a follow-up statement, the Chair of SAB, Mr. Jacob Ainoo-Ansah noted that the coastal zone presents enormous economic opportunities to the country, hence the need to develop strong linkages and conduct demand-driven research to develop human resources and the private sector.
In her remarks, the Project Manager of the Africa Centres of Excellence for Development Impact at the Association of Africa Universities (AAU), Dr. Sylvia Mkandanwire, acknowledged the enormous support being offered by the UCC management to the project. She noted that the AAU through the 53 Centres of Excellence, will institute modalities through which both students and faculties across the centres will be networked to allow for skills and knowledge sharing.
The Director of the Centre, Prof. Denis Aheto, noted that the review meeting, aside from providing a report on the progress of work done, would also serve as a mini-launch of the ACECoR project that could not happen earlier due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The workshop also served as an internal preparatory activity towards the external mid-year review activity to be undertaken by the World Bank and AAU later in the year. The workshop also involved technical meetings to provide update and receive feedback from the AAU, ISAB and SAB members in relation to management, procurement, finance, student enrollment and training, research, partnerships and sectoral linkages, Monitoring and evaluation. The highlight of the event involved a field trip to Anlo Beach in the Shama district that allowed the team to acquaint themselves with the challenges and prospects of coastal communities involving flooding and fishing livelihoods. Research theme Leads and Students had the opportunity to present on research works being conducted within ACECoR's research thematic areas to the participants. Prof. Rashid Sumaila of the Oceans Canada of the University of British Columbia and Chair of ISAB presented a keynote presentation on "Our Coast, Our Lives' where he underscored the critical role ACECoR is making on the regional and global front