The government, through the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), has allocated GH¢5 million to the University for Development Studies (UDS) for research activities that will inform and shape the delivery of interventions under SADA programmes.
Out of the money, which forms part of a five-year medium term support to UDS, GH¢2 million has been used to procure 1,000 lap-top computers for faculties and students to enable them to bring ICT solutions to major developmental challenges in the sahel/savannah zone.
Vice-President John Mahama, who announced this at the 12th congregation of the UDS at Tamale on Saturday, stressed government’s commitment to accelerate the pace of research and to leap-frog UDS into the age of information science as a tool to improve living conditions of rural people.
“As research is so pivotal to the strategic solutions we seek for the SADA area, SADA will also support UDS to build basic research centres and needed furnishing that give priority to research,” he added.
The PNDC regime, inspired by the wish to see poor rural communities of Ghana lifted from poverty, ignorance and deprivation, established the UDS in 1992 (PNDC Law 279). The multi campus-based university, therefore, has a vision and focus which is in consonance with SADA’s aim of decreasing rural poverty and ensuring secured livelihood.
A total of 2,141 students graduated with degrees in different disciplines.
Vice-President Mahama stated further that GH¢250,000 had been committed by the National Communications Authority to fund a Chair of research at the university, while work on a GH¢300,000 ICT centre and a post office was to commence soon.
This year, he said government allocated for the provision of infrastructure and academic facilities at the SMHS besides GH¢380,600.00 to support the clinical training of the medical students at the Tamale Teaching Hospital.
Vice-President Mahama noted that the university had accessed the first tranche of GH¢2 million under the President’s Endowment Fund allocation of GH¢20 million to support infrastructure development and provision of academic facilities.
Professor Haruna Yakubu, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said a total of 2,649 students were admitted this academic year as against 7,020 students due to the lack of adequate infrastructure and academic facilities.
For instance, lecture rooms which were designed for 700 students were now bursting at its seams with 1,500 students.
Prof. Yakubu indicated that GH¢470,000 from the university’s, internally generated funds had been made available in the 2010/2011 budget towards the completion of two clinics at Wa and Navrongo campuses.
Dr. A.B. Salifu, chairman of the UDS Council appealed to the government to make special budgetary allocation for the university’s Third Trimester Field Practical Programme under which community development and related challenges were witnessed and appraised hands-on.