The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics and Research), Prof. Bola Oboh, has challenged stakeholders in the field of Marine and Ocean Studies to conduct more research. She gave the charge at the opening ceremony of the first Costal Ocean Environment Summer School in Nigeria (COESSIN).
Representing the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, FAS, she noted that the long-term goal of the summer school, since inception in 2015, has been to increase the presence of African scientists at international science meetings. She noted, however, that very little research has been done into how coastal countries in West Africa can optimally utilize their marine resources for shared prosperity. This research deficit, she said, is due to the lack of infrastructure for on-site work, lack of capacity development, and comprehensive datasets to undertake oceanographic research.
“To address the trend, the Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe administration has continued to foster international partnerships with several institutions globally including, University of Michigan, in order to speed up learning and academic exchange that will impact society”, she said.
Earlier, the Lead Facilitator of the School and Professor of Physical Oceanography, the University of Michigan, Prof. Brian Arbic elaborated on the importance of the summer school and its positive impact on participants. Through the school’s activities, he revealed that links have been built between institutions in Ghana and other African countries over the years. According to him, research partnerships, laboratories, field trips, panels, and tutorials have all been incorporated into the school in order to make the learning experience of participants better.
With the major role that the marine industry plays in the global economy, he charged West African coastal countries to awake to the profitability of their marine endowments, just as they should get ready resources to face the challenges being encountered on the sea at the same time.
Ghana has been the host of the summer schools since 2015. However, the school went virtual in 2020 and 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The week-long summer school program, which commenced on Monday, August 1 will end on Friday, August 5, 2022. The school is an endorsed project of the United Nations (UN) Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.