A research project between the University of Energy and Natural Resources and the University of Applied Sciences (HFR) in Rottenburg—Germany, has successfully ended. The cooperation of the two institutions was based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2014 led by the Head of Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Dr Amos Kabobah and Prof. Abele Steffen of HFR.
The MoU sought to establish and expand a sustainable and long-term cooperation between the two universities. The project helped establish lasting relations and eventually led to a continued cooperation to further undertake joint research and teaching projects. By so doing, Ghanaian and German students formed a team, doing the first part of their research in one country, then the second part in another country, to collect empirical data, analyse them and mutually support each other. The respective areas of study were energy management, water management, agriculture and ecotourism.
Speaking at a meeting held between the UENR team and representatives from HFR to assess the performance of the entire project and the way forward, the Dean of School of Engineering, Prof. Nana Sarfo Derkyi expressed his delight at the good nature of the project. He said that the collaboration between the two institutions has been a learning opportunity that needs to continue to reach higher heights, adding that the project exposed student beneficiaries to international experience that enabled them to put up good theses. ‘Learning from each other has lived its meaning. We hope the relation will take both parties far’, he stated.
Dr Amos Kabobah mentioned that the project had been beneficial to both staff and students from UENR. According to Dr Kabobah, the capacity of Lecturers who participated in the project was built, and that reflects in their lecture delivery. He added that students are also able to perform laboratory work very well helping them progress in their career with ease. He appreciated the fact that the initial stage of the project faced challenges however, with determination and dedication from patrons, it was eventually a fruitful project. He further indicated that plans were underway in partnership with the German counterparts towards a spin off in the tourism sector.
The Project Coordinator Prof. Abele Steffen was content with the performance of the project and recounted his experience with UENR as pleasant. He was hopeful that the relation between his University and UENR will continue with more spin off in other areas. He recommended that students selected to take research in their University undergo training at DAAD to enable them have easy visa process.
One of the project beneficiary and student of BSc Natural Resources Management of UENR, Anaba Clement Issaka found out among others in his project titled ‘An Assessment of the Impact of Precision Farming on Economic Efficiency, Environmental Sustainability and Food Security.’ that Precision Farming also called Digital Farming helps to reduce environmental harm, thus ensuring agro-ecological sustainability by applying fertilizers and herbicides at a lower dose as compared to Whole Farm Management in which there is high chance of excess chemical use. He recommended that Precision Farming be one of the priorities of government as far as food security and environmental safety are concerned.
Other members of the project included Miss Nina Schafer, Assistant Project Poordinator; Mr Eric Osei Essandoh, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering; Mr James Agyei Ohemeng, Department of Ecotourism, Recreation and Hospitality; Mr Christopher Ninfaakang, Department of Computer Science and Informatics; Mr Emmanuel Acheaw, Department of Energy and Environmental Engineering; Precious Dapaah Opoku, student beneficiary; and Miss Kate Afram, Senior Administrative Assistant.