The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) has received an Associate Professor Kwamina Panford from African, African-American (Studies Department & Affiliate Center for International Affairs/ World Cultures (Africa, International Public Policy, Sustainability & Development) in Northeastern University.
The renowned Ghanaian scholar with over 40 years’ experience in research and teaching in the academia, paid a visit to meet Management and Heads of Departments in UENR to interact and discuss issues of mutual concern towards the development of the University and Ghana at large.
Speaking to the Heads of Departments on doing research and publishing with experience and practical insights from the field relating to Ghana’s natural resources, Prof Panford said being the son of the country, he deemed it best to always avail himself whenever he’s called on because he benefited from Ghanaian education which gave him a good foundation in his academic endeavors.
He observed that, there have been good policies over the years that have aided in positive improvements on the living conditions of Ghanaians however, he stated that more work needed to be done in the country with regard to the vulnerable and less privileged in society who cannot afford to cater for their economic and medical needs. Meanwhile, he commended the government for ensuring that laws made on human dignity were enforced in the country.
Touching on the area of the environment, Prof Panford lamented over the depleting rate of fishes in waterbodies in the country. According to him, the fisher folks along the coastal belt were catching lesser fishes than before and the sea produces more heat instead of cool breeze adding that research has indicated that there would be more plastics in the sea than fishes. Prof. Panford rhetorically questioned that could the attitude of Ghanaians be the cause of the challenges the natural environment faces. He called on environmental and energy research institutions such as UENR to serve as the launch pad towards resolving such issues in Ghana.
The renowned researcher, admitted that embarking on research, writing and publication in Ghana was tedious due to inappropriate structures as well as tough environment including “dumsor” and stringent bureaucracy. However, he added that research ought to be done since such impediments were part of the job of a researcher. Prof. Panford advised that young researchers should ensure to have the practical aspect of the theory being read because that gives better understanding and makes teaching easy.
He further said the secret to embarking on a successful research required commitment, diversity and good human relations with key informants adding, researchers should be tactical to avoid hinderances on the job. “build relationships and ensure that you are never leaving until you get the information you need without getting the one you are dealing with angry” he stated.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor, Prof. Emmanuel Opuni-Frimpong expressed appreciation to the visiting Prof. Panford for availing himself for UENR to benefit from his real experience and expertise. Prof Opuni-Frimpong said that Ghana can only be uplifted from its current state by the sons of the land not foreigners.