Otumfuo Donates GHC1 Million To KCCR
Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has donated an amount of one million cedis (GHC1,000,000) to the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR).
The amount was donated on the occasion of KCCR’s 25th-anniversary celebration which was marked on November 29, 2022.
The celebration was under the theme: “25 Years Of Research for life: SUSTAINING GLOBAL HEALTH AND RESEARCH IN A CHANGING WORLD”.
Present among the dignitaries during the ceremony were the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, German Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Daniel Krull, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon Simon Osei Mensah, Chairman of Council, Ambassador Nana Effah Apenteng, Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof Rita Akosua Dickson.
Also were the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative, Dr Francis Kasolo, Director of Bernhard Nocht Institute of Tropical Medicine (BNITM), Prof Juergen May, Director of Scientific Research at KCCR, Prof Richard Odame Philips and others.
At the 25th anniversary ceremony at the KNUST, the King congratulated and commended all stakeholders who contributed to the establishment of the country’s second-largest research centre- the KCCR.
Addressing the congregation, the King noted that the mandate of KCCR aligns with that of KNUST.
“Interestingly as indicated, we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of KCCR within the 70th anniversary of KNUST. This university, KNUST, was set to provide an environment for teaching, research and entrepreneurship, and training in science and technology for the industrial and socio-economic development of Ghana and beyond.
“As is expected of a research centre in the University, the mandate of KCCR is highly aligned to that of KNUST. KCCR has provided first-class academic training to a large number of promising and highly skilled local and foreign scientists.”
The essence of Research Centres
According to him, health research centres help build nations to detect, monitor, invent and deploy effective health responses quickly for disease outbreaks.
Specifically for KCCR, he said it has contributed to research, human resource development and a favourable environment which is relevant to Ghana, the subregion and beyond.
Otumfuo observes that the COVID-19 pandemic accentuated the essence of such centres.
“For instance when COVID-19 broke out in Ghana, the country’s covid-19 pandemic response was largely centred on medical research centres; the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research.”
KCCR’s Contribution To COVID Fight
He reckoned that the centre played a crucial role in the country during the Covid -19 outbreak in 2020 and early 2021.
“We applaud the centre for the fantastic performance in response to recent disease outbreaks with the focus to work with the Ministry of Health and other relevant stakeholders to improve health care for Ghanaians.
“KCCR played a crucial role in the Ashanti region and its surrounding regions providing testing to guide clinical decisions, technical support to laboratories and data to inform critical decisions by the health sector. Indeed the contributions of this centre will be marked in history books and looked back upon by generations in many years to come.”
Revamping Research Centres
“It is time for the country to invest in clinical research which will go a long way to adequately prepare the country ahead of epidemics”, Otumfuo emphasised.
He believes research forms the basis for development in any country and therefore the government must pay critical attention to Research centres in the country and address the research capacity gaps that exist.
He noted that there is an urgent need to change the low perception of research careers and to improve the availability of positions to drive innovation and development in Ghana and Africa.
He highlighted that “If we (the government) take a very serious view of health, even in this precarious economic situation, I still believe we (the government) can cut corners somewhere and invest in the health delivery system. Some of our projects are mere fantasy projects; instead (we can look) at what is more relevant for us.”
Donation Of GH¢1 Million
Before ending his speech the King announced a GH¢1 million cedis gift to the KCCR.
He noted that the amount is the contribution of KNUST and the Asante Kingdom towards research.
“In my own humble way, my University and Asanteman contribute ¢1 million”.
He also pledged his “unalloyed” support and the needed backing for the continued existence and success of KCCR for the next 25 years.
Other Activities Marking Celebration
Among the activities that marked the celebration were the cutting of a cake and the official commissioning of a newly constructed KCCR outbreak Preparedness Laboratory Block.
The Birth Of KCCR
The Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) is a joint venture between the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Ghana and the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM), Germany.
It was established on 28th October 1997, following the signing of a State agreement between the Republic of Ghana and the Free and Hanseatic State of Hamburg, Germany. The President of Ghana at the time, H.E. Jerry John Rawlings and the Chancellor of KNUST at the time, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, the Asantehene, provided approval for its establishment.
At its forty-seventh sitting on 30th March 1999, the Parliament of Ghana further approved its establishment and associated statutes governing its operation.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini