KNUST is a public university of Ghana in Kumasi that focuses on science and technology. The visit of the delegation to the Université Paris-Saclay is part of the Vice Chancellor of KNUST’s vision aimed at positioning KNUST on a competitive global research-intensive scale for advancement in science and technology for industrial and social uptake towards sustainable national and global development. This is planned through striking strategic partnerships with the most prestigious universities in the world. In this light, a KNUST delegation led by the registrar, Mr. Andrews Kwasi Boateng together with Prof. Daniel Yaw Addai Duah (Dean of International Programs Office), Mr. Yaw Nimo-Baffour (Finance Officer) and Dr. Florent Engelmann (Attaché for the French Embassy in Ghana in charge of Scientific and Higher Education Cooperation) paid working visit to some French universities from the 7th to the 9th of November, 2022. Among the many universities this delegation visited is the Université Paris-Saclay.
The KNUST delegation was welcomed to the university by Prof. Sandrine Lacombe (Vice-President for International & European Affairs, Univeristé Paris-Saclay) together with Dr. Michel Guidal (Deputy Vice-President for Research in charge of Sciences and Engineering), Mr. Guillaume Garreta (Director of International and European Affairs) and Mr. Sébastian Cartier (Head of Partnerships & International Outreach). During the visit, both parties stressed the need for a working Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed immediately with a focus on Strategic Partnerships in specific disciplines. Indeed, KNUST had a lasting MoU with the Université Paris-Sud one of the founding universities of the Université Paris-Saclay which recently elapsed in 2018. This meeting highlighted some of the already existing collaborations between researchers in Université Paris-Saclay and KNUST partners.
Presentations were given on some of these existing collaborations such as the French Support for Ion beam Techniques and complementary characterization in Ghana led by Dr. Aurélie Gentils (Scientific Leader of JANNuS Platform, IJCLab) and Dr. Martin Owusu-Mensah (Department of Physics, KNUST), the ELYSE-Ghana Joint Radiation Chemistry Capacity Building led by Dr. Daniel Adjei (Research Engineer, Institut de Chimie Physique (ICP), Université Paris-Saclay) and the Effects of ionizing radiation on living matter, from the cellular to the molecular level led by Dr. Laura Baciou (Research Director, CNRS). Both parties commended the start of such existing partnerships and encouraged the need for more collaboration in ground-breaking research. The Université Paris-Saclay delegation indicated that tens of students from KNUST had benefited from the Paris-Saclay Scholarship since its inception in 2014 and will ensure that graduates from KNUST will continue to benefit from this scholarship. The impact of such partnerships and opportunities brought testimonies from Ms. Thelma Akanchise (KNUST graduate) and Mr. Albert Eshun, Ghanaian PhD students at the Université Paris-Saclay. Finally, both parties committed to building stronger ties and collaboration especially in areas of research to provide solutions to some of the global challenges.
As part of the working visit, the delegation from KNUST, together with Dr. Florent Engelmann (Attaché for the French Embassy in Ghana in charge of Scientific and Higher Education Cooperation) visited the ICP ELYSE facility. Here at ELYSE, the French embassy in Ghana is funding Mr Albert Eshun, who is a Ghanaian PhD student under the NYASAPO collaborative research between Université Paris Saclay and the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. Albert is hosted by the ICP to realize a project on “Decompositon of Perfluoro alkyl Substances (PFAS) in Aqueous Solutions by Radiolytic Method”. The delegation was warmly welcomed by the Director of ICP, Prof Guillaume van der Rest. Prof van der Rest highlighted on the various groups within the institute and the different research fields engaged by the institute. He called for strengthening the collaboration initiated by Dr Daniel Adjei.