Cape Coast, Nov. 11, GNA - The University of Cape Coast (UCC)'s Centre for Development Studies (CDS) in collaboration with three universities in Netherlands, is to run a four-year sandwich 'Master's programme in "Governance and Sustainable Development".
The course, which will begin in 2006, would be opened to personnel of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies, non-governmental organisations, as well as traditional authorities in the country.
Reverend Professor Emmanuel Obeng, Vice Chancellor of UCC gave the hint at a brief ceremony on the signing of agreement on the course project between the UCC and the three institutions, the University of Maastricht, Free University of Amsterdam and the Maastricht School of Management, all in the Netherlands.
It is aimed at equipping the personnel of the beneficiary institutions with the requisite skills that would further enhance their work and give a forward push to local government and its relevant institutions.
Prof. Obeng stressed the need for universities to explore avenues in their academic programmes and introduce courses that would enable these institutions meet the changing needs of society.
It was towards that direction that the UCC with its collaborating partners were introducing a programme that would equip the staff of local government institutions to discharge their duties efficiently to meet the aspirations of the people, he stressed.
The VC, who said he dislikes starting a project only for it to fail midstream, however, assured the representatives of the Netherlands Universities of his support and commitment to make the programme a success.
Mr Han Aarts, Director of the Netherlands Programme for Post-Secondary Training Capacity (NPT) and Maastricht University Centre for International Co-operation in Academic Development (MUNDO), who signed on behalf of the collaborative Netherlands institutions, said it is their aim to make the course more relevant to the beneficiaries.
He underscored the importance of the programme and explained that it was imperative to develop local governance, which he said has a direct bearing on the lives of the people and promised to assist in all ways possible to make the project a success.
Mr Stephen Kendie, director of CDS, for his part, said the whole idea to start the programme was mooted out in 2001, when the Ambassador of the Netherlands visited the UCC, and pointed out that the project was a contract between UCC and the three Netherlands' universities. Alhaji Abubakar Sadik, the Co-ordinating director of Awutu-Efutu Senya District on behalf of the district assemblies, said good governance and sustainable development were relevant to the development of the district assemblies.
He said they were glad to have been brought in at the initial stage of the project, adding, " this would enable them to make an input into the course content".
Representatives of the Cape Coast Municipal Assembly, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem, Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese, Mfantsiman and Awutu-Efutu-Senya district assemblies were present.