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Cornell Visit Strengthens Ties with University of Ghana

Cornell Delegation in Ghana
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A Cornell delegation led by Provost Michael Kotlikoff and Vice Provost for International Affairs Wendy Wolford visited the University of Ghana in Legon in February 2024. The group joined a multiday conference and connected with colleagues to deepen and solidify opportunities for in-semester study abroad, internships, co-teaching, faculty research, and engagement with the community.

The conference's first day, on global collaboration in higher education, opened with remarks from University of Ghana administrators and Provost Kotlikoff and a keynote address by Ghana's Minister for Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum. A panel discussion led by Wolford delved into aspects of international academic cooperation. The event featured a captivating performance by the Ghana Dance Ensemble.

The second day of discussions centered on issues of public health and climate change mitigation. Panelists included faculty and administrators from Cornell and the University of Ghana and public sector leaders, including Cornell alumni who work and teach at the university and in the region. 

Cornell's Paula Cohen—associate vice provost for research and innovation and faculty lead for the Ghana Hub—moderated a panel on public health and policy, exploring topics ranging from zoonotic diseases to innovative technologies for healthcare improvement. Rachel Bezner Kerr, director of the Einaudi Center's Institute for African Development (IAD), led a panel on transdisciplinary climate change adaptation and mitigation approaches.

The Future of Collaboration: Global Higher Education and Making a Difference at Home and in the World Conference

Alex Nading, anthropology, and Rachel Beatty Riedl, Einaudi Center director, participated in the panels. Other delegates included Carolyn McDaniel, clinical sciences; Linda Barrington, applied economics and policy; and IAD program manager Jackie Sayegh.

While in Ghana, the group celebrated the launch of the first-ever Cornell Club of Ghana and visited alumni leaders of NGO organizations who have been longtime sponsors of our students for summer internships. Dela Nai, PhD '12, of the Population Council and Daniel Dotse, MENG '10 of Lead for Ghana, have been hosting interns through IAD for many years.

Visits to local public and private sector groups rounded out the team's time in Ghana before the delegation continued to Tanzania and Morocco, furthering Cornell's global engagement and partnerships.