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Societies and Cultures Section

Focusing on the University of Ghana’s mission to “develop world class human resources and capabilities to meet national development needs and global challenges through quality teaching, learning, research and knowledge dissemination”, fellows of the section actively participate in the Institutes teaching, research and outreach activities. The section is the largest in terms of number of fellows (ten in all as at 2019/20 academic year), and enrolment of graduate students, offering a variety of courses on African societies and cultures. These include two core graduate level courses on research methods and African social and political systems. In addition, fellows of the section undertake collaborative teaching and research with fellows in other sections of the Institute and cognate departments/institutes of the university.

At the undergraduate level where all students subscribe to the University of Ghana Required Courses (UGRC) in African Studies, the section plays a critical role in fulfilling this mandate with a range of innovative and highly subscribed courses to students. The UGRC courses offered by the section include Culture and Development; African Popular Culture (funerals and ceremonies); Appropriate Technology for Development in Africa; Africa’s Population Issues; Gender and Development; and Social Framework for Economic Development, to mention but a few.

In the area of research and extension work, the section has been at the forefront of several institutional projects which offers graduate students some participation in field research thus enhancing their research capacities while actively undertaking their masters and doctoral studies. The section has led and executed institutional projects such as

  1. securing land rights in Africa;
  2. child sexual exploitation in Accra;
  3. menstrual hygiene management among pupils in basic schools; and
  4. the chieftaincy, governance and development project.

There are many ongoing research projects being undertaken by fellows of the section, one of which is the  domestic security implications of peace keeping (D-SIP) with focus on land and mineral resource use regimes and attendant community conflicts in Ghana.

Fellows in the societies and cultures section are Prof. Dzodzi Tsikata (Director), Em. Prof. Takyiwaa Manuh, Prof. Albert Awedoba, Prof. Kojo Amanor, Prof. Akosua Adomako Ampofo, Dr. Osman Alhassan, Dr. Deborah Atobra, Dr. Benjamin Kwansa, Dr. Peter Narh, and Dr, Pius Siakwa. Fellows in the section collaborate to teach most of the courses and also do lots of joint research projects. The section works closely with many players including international agencies, national government institutions, industry and civil society organisations which places it in a strategic position to make valuable inputs into local, national and global development issues. The section often counts on its experienced research professors and senior fellows to offer the needed direction and guidance in research, teaching and advocacy thus ensuring that the IAS executes its pivotal role of shaping national and international development in the social and cultural domains in diverse socio-cultural contexts.