Ghana's First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, about to be vaccinated in Accra, March 2021. Ghana has been praised for its exemplary management of the coronavirus pandemic/Photo: Ghana Presidency

Germany chooses Ghana to host Centre for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention

Germany has announced its support for the establishment of a German-West African Centre for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention in Ghana.

“Excellent news: Germany will support the launch of a new “German-West African Center for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention,” the German ambassador to Ghana, Christoph Retzlaff, tweeted on his official handle on Thursday evening. “It will be located in Ghana and be part of 8 new centres worldwide to fight global challenges.”

The German Academic Exchange Service, in a statement, indicated that the German-West African Center will be part of eight centres worldwide to fight global challenges.

The Service is funding the eight interdisciplinary centres.

The German-West African Centre will see collaboration between the Berlin School of Public Health, the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

Four centres will teach and research on climate issues, the other four on health issues and pandemics.

The Federal Foreign Office (AA) is funding the establishment of the centres by 2025 with around 22 million euros.

“The world is facing immense challenges in the 2020s: We can only master these together as a global community. In times of corona and the climate crisis, it is more important than ever that we have to protect ourselves from pandemics across borders and counteract the ever-increasing effects of the climate crisis.”

“The new Global Centers for Climate and Health enable the international scientific exchange that we need to find solutions to these existential challenges for mankind,” said Service’s President Prof. Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee said.

German universities with partners from the respective countries and in close cooperation with other German and international partner organizations applied for the establishment of the centres.

The selected centres will teach and research on an interdisciplinary basis and be in close contact with science, politics, business and civil society in order to ensure the transfer of new knowledge into practice.

In addition to Ghana, the four centres for health and pandemic preparedness are in Vietnam, Gabon and Cuba / Mexico.

The centre are to focus on the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases and strengthen local skills for the prevention and treatment of communicable diseases and to improve crisis prevention, response and follow-up care.

For this purpose, the centres will provide training in international master’s courses, PhD programs and further education and enable international exchange, also within the global south.

The announcement of the location if the centre in Ghana comes less than a week after social media giant, Twitter said it would set up its African base in Ghana.

“Today, in line with our growth strategy, we’re excited to announce that we are now actively building a team in Ghana,” the social media giant noted in a blog post published on Monday evening while reiterating its commitment to invest in talents whenever it enters new markets.

“To truly serve the public conversation, we must be more immersed in the rich and vibrant communities that drive the conversations taking place every day across the African continent.”

Twitter explained that its decision was based on Ghana being “a supporter of free speech, online freedom, and the Open Internet, of which Twitter is also an advocate.”

Kola Tella

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